We have arrived at a pivotal point in modern human history. The next 7 days will probably answer the question: “Has the coronavirus gone pandemic?”
On 7 February 2020 in Video Fridays #15, I mentioned how I thought that the Chinese government’s figures of those infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19) could not be trusted. The Chinese government caimed that there was nothing to worry about as they were locking down city after city, trapping tens of millions of people. It would quickly become the largest lockdown in modern history.
On 14 February 2020 in Video Fridays #16, I again returned to the Chinese government’s effort to contain the coronavirus. I stated that I believed that the Chinese government had lost control of containment, and a key indication of this was that the government had resorted to the drastic act of pulling people involuntarily from their homes and shipping them to ‘containment’ camps. I contend that these are the actions of a panicking government, and not just an authoritarian regime being authoritarian. I said that we’d know one way or another in the next couple of weeks if I was right.
It is now only one week later and we have breaking news reports of hundreds of infections exploding in Seoul, South Korea, with new infections and deaths in Iran, Italy, and 30 other countries. Just seven days ago this number was half the number of nations. Again, I stand by what I said a week ago, that the Chinese have lost control of containment. How many more countries must report infections before people open their eyes?
The world should prepare for the most significant pandemic to strike in modern history: “This is really a global problem that is not going to go way in a week or two. […] [W]hat makes this one perhaps harder to control than SARS is that it may be possible to transmit before you are sick […]. I think we should be prepared for the equivalent of a very, very bad flu season, or maybe the worst-ever flu season in modern times,” said Professor of Epidemilogy Marc Lipsitch of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and head of Harvard’s Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics (11 February 2020). These are sobering words.
More sobering, as of 9AM, 21 February 2020, Dr. Benhur Lee, a professor of microbiology at Mt. Sinai in NY, said that the past 36 hours confirms his fears that the virus is on its way to becoming a pandemic.
According to researchers at Hong Kong University, 60-70% of the global population could become infected in a pandemic. Think about this for a moment–most of the world.
Through it all I have relied on a simple device to determine the situation: A calculator. When the first deaths from coronavirus appeared in China, I calculated the percentage of deaths by dividing the number of deaths by the number of known infections. The rate was approximately 2.8%.
As the weeks progressed and more deaths and infections were announced in China, I noticed that this percentage did not moderate much. That number should smooth as the number of infections increases. By the time I recorded Video Fridays #16, I was convinced that the Chinese government was intentionally underreporting and manipulating this figure. During this same week, two independent studies, one at Boston’s North Eastern University and the other at the University of Hong Kong, used mathematical models to conclude that the number of infections then was probably 20x higher than official Chinese figures. Truth is being revealed around the world as I write.
Why The Coronavirus Is Far Worse Than The Flu
I have heard numerous times in recent days newscasters say, ‘[…] but the flu is deadlier and kills thousands of people a year,’ and, ‘infects millions.’ This is only partially true. However, it is NOT deadlier, as the flu only kills .5% of those infected. As of Sunday, 22 February 2020, based on known infections of
77,977, there have been 2,362 deaths. So far, coronavirus has killed 3% of those infected, 5X more than the flu.
Officials are now saying they believe coronavirus is at least as contageous as the flu. While the flu spreads when an individual becomes sick, coronavirus appears to begin spreading before symptoms surface. And, like the flu, spreads in community human to human ways.
While there are effective vaccines for various strains of the flu, there is no vaccine for coronavirus.
If We Stopped Ebola, We Can Stop Coronavirus
I agree. In the end, no matter what comes in the near future, we will likely be able to stop coronavirus, or like the flu, at least moderate its effects. However, there are dramatic key differences between Ebola and the coronavirus.
Ebola is far more difficult to transmit and requires contact with bodily fluids–coronavirus does not. The coronavirus is far more contageous and transmits as easily as the flu.
There is a 100% effective vaccine for Ebola.
There is none for coronavirus.
According to the CDC, coronavirus will likely be with us beyond this year, gaining a foothold and base transmission. Symptoms start out like those of the flu: body aches and a high fever, and if not diagnosed, immediately turns into pneumonia. Because the symptoms initially mimic those of the flu, it is easy to initially misdiagnose.
If coronavirus goes pandemic (which I am convinced we are witnessing the beginnings of at this very moment), experts believe it will infect most of the world population. Based on what you now know, how many people in the world would die from this disease? And, until there is an effective vaccine, how many more people in the world will die from coronavirus when it returns the following year? Or the next?
World governments must act now because the window is closing fast.
*This disease is no joke. Spread the word now.