Biblical and Constitutional Politics

Fitness for One and All

 

Revised Coronavirus Numbers

(Healthy Habits are Your Best Defense)

Part One

By Gary F. Zeolla

 

      In my four-part article My Multi-Group Plan for Overcoming the Coronavirus Crisis, I used the number of Coronavirus (CV) deaths of 100,000 in the USA for most of my calculations. That article was written the last week of April 2020. At that time, the death toll had just passed 50,000 in the United States, so I thought I’d double it, and that would cover future CV deaths for the next few months. But sadly, I was wrong in my projection, as we passed the 100,000 mark within just one month, on May 27, 2020. But if I had used my own numbers otherwise, I should have known that not only would we hit 100,000 rather quickly, but we could easily progress far beyond that. At least if what we have been told by the authorities is accurate.

 

Notes:

      In this two-part article, I am assuming the reader has a basic knowledge of the CV crisis and the various issues involved. It would also help if you read at least some of my previous writings on the CV. They are listed at: Coronavirus Articles and Commentaries. When I say I said something “previously” or “elsewhere,” I am referring to an article or commentary on those pages. Those pages also provide documentation for many of the points to be mentioned in this article. There are additional references at the end of this article.

      Note also, by “authorities” I mean the various levels of federal, state, and local governments, and the health professionals they are getting advice from as to what policies to institute.

      Also, this two-part article will focus primarily on the health aspects of the CV crisis, since I am publishing it in my FitTips for One and All newsletter and posting it on my Fitness for One and All website, though it will also address some political and economic aspects of the CV crisis, as I am also posting it on my politics website. That differs from the rest of the material on the CV section of my politics website. It mostly addresses the political and economic aspects of the CV crisis, though the health aspects are also addressed. That CV section also addresses the Biblical and Constitutional aspects of this crisis, given that the name of my politics website is Biblical and Constitutional Politics.

      But here, I will begin with some math. I know such can get a bit boring, but bear with me, as this is important stuff. It will show how we were scared into accepting the draconian measures we were subjected to over the past several weeks and many are still being subjected to.

 

The Numbers

 

      In my previous writings, I have said the CV death rate, that is the number of CV deaths divided by the number of CV cases, was originally projected to be 3-4%. But that was quickly rejected as being too high, though some of the draconian measures we have been subjected to were based on models that used that number.

      But then in early March, Dr. Anthony Fauci estimated the death rate would be 1%. Dr. Deborah Brix then lowered that to 0.7% in late March. Then by late April, other authorities were predicting it would be 0.5%. I heard one medical expert in mid-May predicting it would be as low as 0.1-0.2%. That later number is interesting, as that is the seasonal flu death rate.

      I have no way of knowing which of these numbers will prove to be the most accurate. In fact, no one does, not until we get a better idea of the denominator, the total number of cases. And that won’t happen until we do much more testing than we have been doing. But let me go with the middle number of the 0.1-1.0% range, that of a 0.5% death rate.

      The next question is the denominator. How many people are likely to get infected? It has been said by the authorities that the CV is three times as contagious as the seasonal flu. I have expressed doubts elsewhere about that contagion rate. But accepting it as accurate, the CDC estimates there were “39,000,000 – 56,000,000 flu illnesses” for the 2019-20 flu season.

      That is for “October 1, 2019, through April 4, 2020.” I have no idea why the CDC stopped counting flu illnesses at April 4, when elsewhere on the CDC’s site, it states, “The Weekly U.S. Influenza Summary Update is updated each week from October through May.”

      Could it be that after April 4, the CDC began to count all “respiratory illnesses” as CV cases and deaths rather than being from the flu? Dr. Birx made it sound like that was the case in one of the task force briefings back in April, as I reported previously. If that is so, then the seasonal flu numbers for this season are depressed, while the CV numbers are inflated. I have expressed previously other ways in which the CV death rate could be inflated.

      Be that as it may, let me go with these numbers as is. The average of 39,000,000 and 56,000,000 is 47,500,000 flu cases. If the CV is three times as contagious, then we can expect 142,500,000 Americans to get infected with the CV. With a population of 331,000,000, that would mean 43% of the US population would eventually get infected. That is along the lines of one estimate various authors cited back in March that 40-60% of the US population eventually would get infected. Again, some of the draconian measures we have been subjected to were based on models that used that percentage.

      If there is a 0.5% death rate, and in fact 43% of Americans get infected, then we can expect 712,500 Americans to die from the CV. If that number takes you back, don’t forget that at one time we were told 2,200,000 Americans would die from the CV. This number is about one-third of that number.

      If we were to go with the 1% death rate and 60% of the population getting infected, that would mean 198,600,000 Americans would get infected and 1,986,000 would die. That 2.2 million number is not too far off from my calculation. And my math here shows you how that somewhat higher number might have been arrived at.

      In any case, if we go with a 50% infection rate and a 0.5% death rate, then the number of cases and deaths would be 165,500,000 cases and 827,500 deaths. That is a staggering number of deaths. It also means, the CV is far worse than the seasonal flu. That corrects another mistake on my part, thinking the CV would end up being only about as serious as the flu.

      However, that greater seriousness is only for those who are older. For those under 25, the flu is still far deadlier. For those under five years old, the flu is 17 times deadlier than the CV (Ben Shapiro). See my writings elsewhere for much more on how the CV affects different people groups differently.

      Also, that 50% infection rate for the CV is important, as that is the lower end of what is considered to be needed for herd immunity. I have talked much about that concept elsewhere, so I won’t explain it here. Suffice it to say, once we get to that percentage infected, that would effectively end the CV crisis.

 

A Vaccine

 

      These numbers assume no vaccine. But what if there is a vaccine? That will bring us to herd immunity before 827,500 deaths occur. But how much before? That would depend on when the vaccine becomes available, how many Americans receive the vaccine, and how effective the vaccine is.

      We know only about half of Americans get the seasonal flu shot. With all of drama over the CV, you would think once a vaccine is available, more than 50% of Americans would get it. But not necessarily. The antivaxxers have been working full force for months, trying to scare Americans away from a CV vaccine when it is available. As I have stated previously, normally I disagree with the antivaxxers, but this time they might have a point. With the rush to develop a vaccine, I can see that many would be concerned it will not have been thoroughly tested for safety and efficacy when it is rolled out.

      However, I have seen and heard doctors on TV and radio say that what is being rushed is not the testing for safety and efficacy but just the production aspects of the vaccine. That is the point of the President’s “Operation Warp Speed.” Once a vaccine passes the initial testing stage, the federal government will bankroll the production of doses en masse. In that way, if the vaccine proves worthwhile, there will already be millions of doses available. If it does not prove effective, then the government, not the company, will take the financial hit for producing millions of doses of a worthless product.

      There is also more than one vaccine in the works. In fact, as many as a dozen or more are being tested and produced. It is hoped that such a shotgun approach will quickly produce at least one if not more than one vaccine that is both safe and effective.

 

But still, a survey by the Associated Press found the following:

      Only about half of Americans say they would get a COVID-19 vaccine if the scientists working furiously to create one succeed, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

      That’s surprisingly low considering the effort going into the global race for a vaccine against the coronavirus that has sparked a pandemic since first emerging from China late last year. But more people might eventually roll up their sleeves: The poll, released Wednesday, found 31% simply weren’t sure if they’d get vaccinated. Another 1 in 5 said they’d refuse.

 

      On the latter point, the effectiveness of a CV vaccine, the seasonal flu shot is usually only about 40-60% effective. Between only half of Americans getting the flu shot and it only being about half effective, that is why we always have tens of thousands of flu deaths every year, despite there being a flu vaccine. What is unknown is if that situation will be the case with the CV vaccine. With more than one vaccine candidate, maybe we can target the best vaccine for each people group, say one for children and a different one for adults. That might make it safer and more effective for each group and thus the combination more effective overall.

      But that is all theoretical. Let’s go with what we know about the seasonal flu shot, that being only half of Americans will get it and it will only be about 50% effective. In that case, a vaccine would cut future cases and deaths from the point it is widely available by 50% x 50% or just 25%. But how many of those 825,000 deaths would have occurred before the vaccine is available? There is no way of knowing that.

      But let’s say the vaccine is available at the same time as we double the current number of 100,000 deaths to 200,000. The vaccine would reduce the remaining 625,000 deaths by 1/4, down to 468,750. Add back in the 200,000 deaths that already occurred, and yes, even with a vaccine, we could still be looking at 668,750 deaths from the CV.

 

What About Mitigation?

 

      But what about mitigation? All of the social distancing, staying at home, business closures, and wearing of masks we have been doing, won’t that reduce that number of deaths even more? If you think that, you seriously misunderstood what these mitigation measures were all about.

      There was only one purpose to all of these mitigation efforts—to flatten the curve, so that our healthcare system was not overwhelmed. That was it. In no way was mitigation meant to reduce the number of cases overall and only indirectly to reduce the number of deaths. The latter would be because, with our healthcare system not overwhelmed, hospitals would not have to ration care. In no way was mitigation meant to reduce the final number of cases and deaths overall, except again, a reduction in the latter due to not having to ration care.

      The diagram below illustrates these points. Notice that the first curve (in reddish) spikes up then down. In doing so, that spike overwhelms our health care system. The second curve (in orange) is flatter, but it extends along the graph for a longer period of time. If you were to do the geometry, you would find the area underneath each curve is the same, indicating the number of cases would be same with both scenarios.

      However, there is one problem with this diagram. The flatter curve has only one gradual spike then drop. But in reality, we were told from the start that with mitigation, once we stopped the mitigation, the number of cases and thus deaths would spike again. But the hope as always been that second spike would also represent a flattened curve that does not overwhelm our medical system.

      However, even that has not happened in Florida and Georgia. When they mostly reopened a few weeks ago, the media was screaming that it was dangerous, that their governors were killing their citizens, but that never happened. The number of cases has been dropping not rising since their reopenings. The same is true for 18 other states that have already reopened. There has been no second spike. It could be that the virus has just run its course in those areas. However, a new spike after reopening is still a concern for other areas. It is also possible that this downturn is due to the summer pause that was predicted from the start.

      I reported the latter point previously. It was always hoped that the CV would be like they seasonal flu and just naturally dissipate come warmer weather. And we now know that the virus is not likely to spread outdoors, especially in the heat and sunshine. However, it was also predicted from the start that there might be another spike in autumn. But whether that happens or not remains to be seen.

      That is why most models have only given projections for the number of CV cases and deaths up until August. But what we really need to know is the total number of cases and deaths throughout the entirety of this pandemic. But making counting those numbers more difficult will be, come autumn, is CV cases and deaths could once again be confounded with seasonal flu cases and deaths.

      The only way to ensure these post-mitigation and autumn spikes do not occur would be to lockdown indefinitely, or, as some would say, at least until a vaccine is available. However, I just demonstrated a vaccine would only mildly reduce the number of cases and deaths, due to its 50% usage rate and 50% effectiveness rate leading to just a 25% reduction rate. And staying locked down indefinitely is not an option, as such would case incalculable economic and mental and physical heath disasters, as I have explained elsewhere and will so again here shortly.

 

Different Approaches

 

      The point of the preceding section is mitigation cannot and never was intended to reduce the number of cases and deaths from the CV. I know the media is trying to portray it that way now, as states begin to reopen, but that simply was never the case. That means, as long as we do not overwhelm the healthcare system, it matters little if we use or do not use mitigation. The same number of people will eventually get infected and the same number of people will eventually die. Mitigation only delays the inevitable. The only end point is herd immunity, with or without a vaccine.

      That is why I have advocated a middle of the road approach between those who said we should do nothing and shoot for herd immunity as quickly as possible and the draconian measures that were utilized. The problem with the former is our healthcare system could have gotten overwhelmed, leading to needless deaths, while the latter has destroyed our economy and caused untold mental and physical health damage. That destroyed economy and mental and physical health problems have led to far more suffering than we would have ever experienced due to the CV, as I have detailed elsewhere.

      My middle of the road approach would have prevented our healthcare system from being overwhelmed while only mildly affecting the economy and people’s mental and physical health. In fact, seven states sort of followed my approach, and the overall infections and deaths rates in those seven states is statistically the same or even lower than in the 43 states that utilized statewide lockdown.

      For instance, South Dakota did not have a statewide lockdown, and it has only seen five deaths per 100,000, while California had a statewide lockdown, and it has experienced 8.4 deaths per 100,000 (Tucker Carlson). Meanwhile Sweden, Taiwan, and Ethiopia, which did not utilize nationwide lockdowns, saw fewer cases and deaths per capita than the United States and other countries which utilized nationwide or near nationwide lockdowns (Trib Live. Joe Nocera). As such, all of our mitigation efforts did not reduce the number of cases and deaths Meanwhile, the economy of these non-lockdown states and countries did not take nearly the hit that the overall US economy did.

      Finally, a statistic that is missing in most news reports is the number of “recovered” in each country or state. But reporting that number is important, as the growing number of people who recover from a CV infection would give confidence to people that a CV infection is not a death sentence, as the media seems to be trying to make it out to be.

      Note: The definition of “recovered” varies. Some authorities use the standard of a person who had CV symptoms of whatever seriousness but has been symptom-free for at least three days, but others say they must be symptom-free for a month or more. Either way, the number of recovered is rapidly growing, and new outlets should be reporting that fact.


Assumptions

 

      All of that said, the thought of an additional over half a million Americans dying from the CV is horrifying. However, that projection is based on several assumptions. The first is that the CV is in fact three times as infectious as the flu. The second is that the ultimate death rate will be about 0.5%. The third is the CV death counts are accurate. But none of these assumptions are certain.

      If the CV is less than triple as infectious as the flu, say only double, then you could cut those deaths by a third. If the death rate is less, then it will be proportionally less. However, since we have already surpassed the normal seasonal flu death number, one or the other or both of these points have to be true. Either the CV is more infectious than the flu and/ or it has a higher death rate. The only uncertainty is how much greater. But that is assuming the CV death counts are accurate. I have my doubts, as I express elsewhere. But if they are, then an additional half a million deaths over the next couple of years, until we reach herd immunity, seems plausible.

      A fourth assumption is we keep adding future CV cases and deaths to the current number. That differs from what is done with the seasonal flu. For the latter, as stated, a new “season” starts each October. Therefore, the first flu death in October of this year will not be added to the flu deaths count for the 2019-20 flu season. The new death will be the first death of the 2020-2021 flu season.

      That is how things are done for most other causes of death. The number of deaths from heart attacks, stroke, cancer, vehicle accidents, and many more are usually cited per year. Several years are not accumulated together. However, as I said previously, I will bet the number of CV deaths will just keep on being added up year after year. But if it takes three years as is being predicted by some authorities until we reach herd immunity, then my number of 643,750 CV deaths would be for three years. Per year, it would “only” be about 215,000. That is important, as that will put CV deaths into perspective as compared to other causes of deaths.

      That number would make the CV 4.5 times as deadly as the season flu, but only about one-third as lethal as the 647,457 deaths from heart disease and 599,108 deaths from cancer in 2017. However, it would be more lethal than the deaths from the next eight causes of death in the USA in that year (Medical News). That means, the CV could become the third leading cause of death in the USA, at least over the next three years.

      The fifth assumption in my number of 668,750 CV deaths is that we will reach herd immunity when 50% of the population is infected. But some authorities put the needed percentage as high as 95%. If that is the case, you could almost double that number to 1,304,062 deaths. But more likely, it will probably be somewhere in-between these two percentages and hence between these two numbers. The average of the two would be 986,406 or just under one million deaths total from the CV. That is absolutely horrifying.

      However, the average of 328,802 CV deaths per year would still be about half the number of deaths from heart disease and from cancer each year. In addition, if a reliable therapeutic becomes available, that could greatly reduce the number of CV deaths, as many who are infected and might have died otherwise might recover.

      Also, again, do not miss that this number is based on the preceding assumptions by the authorities. If any of them are off by a significant degree, then this projection will be way off as well. They may have been overestimated, just to scare people into accepting the draconian mitigation measures that were instituted. In that case, the final death count could be way lower. I hope and pray that will be the case. However, I have no idea if that will be so or not. It all depends on if what the authorities have been telling us is accurate or not.

This two-part article is concluded at: Revised Coronavirus Numbers (Healthy Habits are Your Best Defense) - Part Two.

 


Creationist Diet
Second Edition
A Comprehensive Guide to Bible and Science Based Nutrition
 

References:

See end of Part Two.

Revised Coronavirus Numbers (Healthy Habits are Your Best Defense) - Part One. Copyright 2020 by Gary F. Zeolla (www.Zeolla.org).

Tearing the USA Apart
From Kavanaugh, to Incivility, to Caravans, to Violence, to the 2018 Midterm Elections, and Beyond

            The United States of American is being torn about by political differences more than any time since the 1960s and maybe since the Civil War of the 1860s. This division was amplified by political events in the summer to fall of 2018. This time period could prove to be seminal in the history of the United States. This tearing apart came to the forefront and was amplified during the confirmation proceedings for Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh. This book overviews the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation proceedings in detail. It then overviews these additional major events that occurred up to the end of November 2018.

The above article was posted on this website May 30, 2020.

Coronavirus Articles and Commentaries

Alphabetical List of Pages     Contact Information

Text Search     Biblical and Constitutional Politics

Fitness for One and All

Dealing with Health Difficulties