My One Concern (Here) about the Pandemic

My One Concern (Here) about the Pandemic May 15, 2020

My One Concern (Here) about the Pandemic

Many respondents to my most recent post have assumed that I am promoting some specific “plan” for dealing with the CORONA-19 virus pandemic. That is not the case. Please do not do that. If you choose to respond to that post or this one, stick to what I actually say and DO NOT misuse my blog as an opportunity to go off on a tangent unrelated to what I actually say. Your response will NOT be approved if you do that.

What I am arguing is that the U.S. news mass news media, by and large, is not giving Americans the whole story including especially evidence-based medical studies being conducted and concluded by scientific researchers in other countries.

In fact, I go so far as to accuse the American mass news media of fomenting fear more that disseminating facts. We all need as many facts as possible, even if they (for now) seem to contradict each other. Then we can watch further developments as scientists around the world collaborate and come closer to a consensus.

The key missing fact is the Infection Mortality Rate (IFR) of this disease. We know much more about the Case Mortality Rate (CMR). They are NOT the same. The CMR is the mortality rate of people diagnosed with the disease—both symptomatic and asymptomatic. The IFR is the mortality rate of people who have had or do have the disease—whether diagnosed or not. The IFR is much more difficult to arrive at because nobody knows how many undiagnosed cases there have been/are.

However, evidence-based research from several countries, conducted by epidemiologists and virologists, is beginning to show that many, many more people have had the disease and have the disease than previously thought.

Someone here yesterday claimed that the COVID-19 death rate in Sweden is higher than the IFR in America. That is probably not true. According to recent studies the IFR in Sweden is about 0.27% and the IFR in the U.S. is about 1.3%. However, these estimates are likely to change over time. DO NOT base anything on CFR statistics; IFR statistics are the only ones on which public policy should be based AS they become known with some certainty.

One recent study is published on the “Virology Blog” and is titled “Infection Fatality Rate – A Critical Missing Piece for Managing Covid-19” written by Rich Condit, virologist and emeritus professor of the University of Florida. According to this article the University of Oxford (Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine) now estimates the overall CFR at 0.1 to 0.26 % and the CFR at 0.51 %.

The county in which I live has about 250K residents. We now have no Covid-19 cases in our hospitals. Less than 100 people are known to have had the disease. Only 4 people have died of it. Those 4 deaths have been the only ones for weeks now. And we have had a moderate “stay at home” order and yet I have observed many people “out and about.” Perhaps many more than 100 have had the disease or have it, but they are not sick enough to seek medical attention.

So what is a reasonable public policy based on evidence-based science as we now have its conclusions?

See the column “Opinion: Reopening Texas is a scientifically valid option – Opinion -Austin American-Statesman – Austin TX” by two University of Texas professors associated with the Center for Enterprise and Policy Analysis in the McCombs School of Business. They are Carlos Carvalho and Richard Lowery. Read the column; I can’t summarize it here.

Now, this last point is irrelevant to evidence-based science and public policy, but I will add it here just to correct any assumption that I am untouched by the COVID 19 epidemic. My beloved mother-in-law recently died of the virus. She was 93 years old and in extremely poor health in a nursing home.

If you choose to respond, make SURE that your response is relevant to what I wrote here and does not go off on a different tangent. Do NOT misuse my blog to express your own opinion at length. Hostile, accusatory, uncivil, unhelpful responses will not be approved. Keep your response brief and to the point. Do not include any hyperlinks.

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