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How can a disease with a 1% death rate shut down the USA?

Sunday, July 12, 2020

It's a short, clear, breathtaking article:

https://www.quora.com/How-ca
n-a-disease-with-1-mortali
ty-shut-down-the-United-St
ates/answer/Franklin-Veaux
?ch=1&share=d1dc67e6&srid=uGdQn

How can a disease with 1% mortality shut down the United States?
Franklin Veaux
Updated July 12, 2020
Professional Writer

There are two problems with this question.

It neglects the law of large numbers; and
It assumes that one of two things happen: you die or you’re 100% fine.

The US has a population of 328,200,000. If one percent of the population dies, that’s 3,282,000 people dead.

Three million people dead would monkey wrench the economy no matter what. That more than doubles the number of annual deaths all at once.

The second bit is people keep talking about deaths. Deaths, deaths, deaths. Only one percent die! Just one percent! One is a small number! No big deal, right?

What about the people who survive?

For every one person who dies:

19 more require hospitalization.
18 of those will have permanent heart damage for the rest of their lives.
10 will have permanent lung damage.
3 will have strokes.
2 will have neurological damage that leads to chronic weakness and loss of coordination.
2 will have neurological damage that leads to loss of cognitive function.

So now all of a sudden, that “but it’s only 1% fatal!” becomes:

3,282,000 people dead.
62,358,000 hospitalized.
59,076,000 people with permanent heart damage.
32,820,000 people with permanent lung damage.
9,846,000 people with strokes.
6,564,000 people with muscle weakness.
6,564,000 people with loss of cognitive function.

That's the thing that the folks who keep going on about “only 1% dead, what’s the big deal?” don’t get. The choice is not “ruin the economy to save 1%.” If we reopen the economy, it will be destroyed anyway. The US economy cannot survive everyone getting COVID-19.

Edited to add:
(summation: these numbers are conservative (Koshie)
Wow, this answer has really blown up. Many people are asking about the sources, so here’s the basic rundown:

This model assumes that the question’s hypothetical is correct and the fatality rate is 1%. It also assumes for the sake of argument 100% infection. (In reality, of course, neither of these is a perfect match to reality. The infection rate will never hit 100%, bot the fatality rate in a widespread infection is likely to be greater than 100%, because health care services will be overwhelmed.)

The statistics I used in this answer were compiled from a number of different sources. I spent quite a bit of time writing the answer. Unfortunately, I don’t have my search history in front of me, so I’ll attempt to re-compile them.

Some of the sources include:

What we know (so far) about the long-term health effects of Covid-19

Physicians have also reported an increase in inflammation of and damage to the heart muscle in Covid-19 patients. One study

published in March found that out of 416 hospitalized Covid-19 patients, 19% showed signs of heart damage.

Another study

from Wuhan published in January found 12% of Covid-19 patients showed signs of cardiovascular damage. Other studies have since found evidence of myocarditis, inflammation of the heart muscle that can cause scarring, and heart failure in Covid-19 patients.

Now, physicians warn that Covid-19 survivors may experience long-lasting cardiac damage and cardiovascular problems, which could increase their risk for heart attack and stroke. Doctors also warn Covid-19 could worsen existing heart problems.

What We Know About the Long-Term Effects of COVID-19

“Some of the data that we’re getting now from the China studies, one study that was just published

in JAMA Neurology showed that 36.4 percent of patients had neurologic issues,” said Dr. Sheri Dewan
, neurosurgeon at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield, Illinois. “One of the review articles

that came out at the end of February discussed the possibility of virus traveling into the olfactory neurons, through the olfactory bulb, and into the brain.”

Lifelong Lung Damage: A Serious COVID-19 Complication

?

“Holes in the lung likely refers to an entity that has been dubbed ‘post-COVID fibrosis,’ otherwise known as post-ARDS [acute respiratory distress syndrome] fibrosis,” said Dr. Lori Shah

, transplant pulmonologist at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

ARDS

occurs when fluid builds up in tiny air sacs in the lungs called alveoli. This reduces oxygen in the bloodstream and deprives the organs of oxygen which can lead to organ failure.

Post-COVID fibrosis, according to Shah, is defined as lung damage that’s irreversible and can result in severe functional limitations from patients, such as cough, shortness of breath, and need for oxygen. […]

According to The Lancet, in a piece titled, “Pulmonary fibrosis secondary to COVID-19: A call to arms?

,” the first series of hospitalized patients in Wuhan, China showed that 26 percent required intensive care and 61 percent of that subset developed ARDS.

What we know (so far) about the long-term health effects of Covid-19

Physicians report that patients hospitalized for Covid-19 are experiencing high rates of blood clots that can cause strokes, heart attacks, lung blockages, and other complications, Parshley reports.

For instance, physicians are seeing an uptick in strokes among young patients with Covid-19.

The blood clots also can travel to other organs, leading to ongoing health problems. For instance, pulmonary embolisms, which occur when the clots block circulation to the lungs, can cause ongoing "functional limitations," like fatigue, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and discomfort when performing physical activity, Parshley reports. Similarly, blood clots in the kidneys can cause renal failure, which can cause life-long complications.

Heart damage

Physicians have also reported an increase in inflammation of and damage to the heart muscle in Covid-19 patients. One study

published in March found that out of 416 hospitalized Covid-19 patients, 19% showed signs of heart damage.

Another study

from Wuhan published in January found 12% of Covid-19 patients showed signs of cardiovascular damage. Other studies have since found evidence of myocarditis, inflammation of the heart muscle that can cause scarring, and heart failure in Covid-19 patients.

Now, physicians warn that Covid-19 survivors may experience long-lasting cardiac damage and cardiovascular problems, which could increase their risk for heart attack and stroke. Doctors also warn Covid-19 could worsen existing heart problems.

The numbers in this answer were made from extrapolations about percentages of COVID-19 long-term effects reported in a range of studies on Google Scholar, assuming a hypothetical 100% US infection rate and a 1% fatality rate. Of course, in reality, a high infection rate would cause the mortality and comorbidity rates to skyrocket, so if anything, these numbers are conservative.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • TOMATOCAFEGAL
    We need to pray and be grateful for what we have. It is Gods plan, not us humans!
    1 day ago
  • RETAT60
    Closing down limits the number of deaths. Failure to close causes even more death and permanent disabilities caused by infection.
    106 days ago
  • 1CRAZYDOG
    OH MY GOSH! YES, Maybe people would pay attention to how dangerous this virus is presented in this way. **SIGH** It is just mind bogglind that there are some who just don't care enough to take care of themselves, yet along realize that they can affect so many others, too.
    106 days ago
  • ELSCO55
    Could not access but thanks
    107 days ago
  • 1CRAZYDOG
    Not able to access this link, sorry! Thanks for trying, though.
    107 days ago
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