Novel Coronavirus: Perhaps 100 Million Will Die

5 Billion Infected Means 100 Million Die

Professor Ira Longini, an adviser to the World Health Organization, estimates that two-thirds of the world’s population could catch coronavirus. He is co-director of the Centre for Statistics and Quantitative Infectious Diseases at the University of Florida.

… Professor Gabriel Leung, a public health professor at the University of Hong Kong, has also said close to two-thirds of the world could catch the virus if it is left unchecked. __ NextBigFuture

In a bad influenza year, up to 700,000 might succumb to severe complications of the seasonal flu. Seasonal influenza has a case fatality rate near 0.1%, while the case fatality rate of novel coronavirus is estimated at near 2% — or 20X higher than seasonal influenza. The 1918 influenza epidemic had a case fatality rate of about 2.5%. For Ebola, the CFR may be 90%.

“I think it is likely we’ll see a global pandemic,” said Marc Lipsitch, a professor of epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “If a pandemic happens, 40% to 70% of people world-wide are likely to be infected in the coming year. What proportion of those will be symptomatic, I can’t give a good number.” __ WSJ quoted in Mishtalk

Most cases and deaths have been inside China, but case numbers outside the country are climbing slowly.

In One Wuhan Funeral Home 20 Furnaces Cremate Bodies 24 h/day

In downtown Wuhan, the Hankou funeral home is being kept busy, 24 h a day running 20 furnaces nonstop. In the Wuhan suburbs, Caidian funeral home needs 100 body bags every day. Besides those two, furnaces at five other funeral homes are working to capacity in Wuhan. They are trying to keep the city from being inundated by an unnaturally high body count. How many of these several hundreds of deaths per day are due to novel coronavirus? No one knows.

Since 1 February the government has mandated cremation for all those who die of the virus. But those who die at home are not diagnosed, so they put whatever is convenient on the birth certificate. Regardless of what is being reported, the reality is almost certain to be far higher.

The Ethical Core is Empty

Two decades since the massacre in Tiananmen Square, the grip of the CCP on power has never been more fragile… __ Iron House, Iron Fist

China’s leadership is concerned first and foremost with maintaining power and privilege. In terms of loss of life, the consequences of dishonesty by government officials is horrific — but such dire consequences are dealt out to the people, not to the leaders. They hid the facts, they distorted the truth, and they continue to do so whenever possible.

… the number of infections is being underreported due to several factors: the shortage of testing kits at hospitals, meaning the number of confirmed cases are capped; hospitals being at overcapacity, meaning many patients are turned away and unable to be diagnosed or treated; and a culture of secrecy within the Chinese Communist Party that restricts the free flow of any information during crises that might undermine its authoritarian rule.

Patients who are suspected of contracting the illness but unable to receive the accredited diagnosis are not counted toward the official figures. Likewise, suspected patients who later pass away are not part of the official death toll. __ Source

The economy is suffering, which is the one thing that might move higher party officials to act prudently to prevent permanent, long-term damage. China needs outside help to achieve the competency of response to the virus that the party apparatus has not allowed so far.

Unfortunately, as a result of the endless political purges of recent years [carried out in the name of an “anti-corruption campaign”] and along with the revival of “Red Culture,” the people in the system who have now been promoted are in-house Party hacks who slavishly obey orders. As a result, both the professional commitment and the expertise previously valued within China’s technocracy, along with the ambition people previously had to seek promotion on the basis of their actual achievements, have been gradually undermined and, without any great hue and cry, they have now all but disappeared. __ Xu Zhangrun

China’s leadership is unlikely to learn very much from this ongoing catastrophe, however. Instead, we are likely to see more of the same party-hack behavior that got the country into this mess in the first place.

China will not simply return to the status quo when the epidemic eventually dissipates. While some have optimistically postulated a potential for reform steps, necessary to repair the CCP’s reputation in the wake of the humanitarian crisis in Hubei province, it is more likely that this setback will accelerate China’s slide into an even more intrusive surveillance state. __

Note: The novel coronavirus is not likely to have the maximum impact suggested by the worst-case models and predictions at the top of the page. But for those who admire the “competence and efficiency” of the communist party government of China, keep in mind that if not for the intervention of non-Chinese outsiders, this virus would be traveling freely around the world without meaningful restraint.

It was over 7 weeks after the first documented cases of a new deadly coronavirus before the communist officials in China took meaningful quarantine measures and reluctantly allowed the rest of the world to begin to understand the problem. If the entire world were governed by the same kind of “competent and efficient” people, imagine where the novel coronavirus would be making itself at home.

Chinese communist officials continue to request that the US drop its travel restrictions related to the novel coronavirus. The mainland Chinese have bought and paid for large numbers of political operators around the world — including within the US government. But at least until the next US national elections, the US — and its allies — are unlikely to relax this minimal barrier to viral spread.

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