Saturday, March 7, 2020

Coronavirus: Bad

I am late to this party, I am ashamed of my inattention. But over the last few days I have been reading with increasing concern.

It appears that we have a three-or-four day doubling time and a 1-2% death rate:

Death rate could be lower for various reasons to do with counting, could be higher if the health system is overwhelmed.


200 cases in UK today (March 7th)
800 next week
3200 the week after that
12800 the week after that
51,200 next month (April 7th)
13,107,200 the month after that (May 7th)
everyone in England by mid-May,

which is to say:

between 6 hundred thousand and a million and a half deaths by the middle of May, mostly elderly people.

And that, I think, is the sober, sensible, most likely guess at what might happen over the next couple of months, if nothing changes.

Draconian action by the Government might slow things down, and give us time to react, but I am not terribly optimistic. We do not have the necessary apparatus of oppression.

No need to panic, what good will it do?

But think, plan.

This is the Spanish Flu come again. It is not the Black Death.

Do not fear excessively for your children. They seem mostly immune, for no reason anyone understands.

For most people it will be a bad case of the flu.

If you have elderly relatives and friends, tell them that you love them. Do not go to visit them, at least not once things kick off.

Persuade them to stay inside, and to cut contact with everyone they know.

If this fails and they become ill, by all means go and do what you can to help them through it.

Pneumonia, I am told, is one of the better deaths.

Home Made Hand Sanitizer: Glycerin and Ethanol

Hand sanitizer is worth its weight in gold these days, but the popular brand Purell is just 3 parts ethanol to 1 part glycerin.

Both these things are still (7th March) readily available and cheap in large quantities.

Isopropanol should also work, I think.