The $64 Virus Question

(Raconteur Report) A month ago I was worried we might have 10-20 cases of Kung Flu. Instead, we have nearly 20 deaths. That means those people got it up to a month ago, from other people who didn’t know they had it either.

So far, most of them are elderly, and or with other co-morbid conditions.

But sooner or later, a relatively healthy 40- or 50-year old with no predisposition is going to croak. Maybe a teacher. Or a school janitor or lunch lady. Then everyone will lose their shit.

The school will be closed. But that person will have infected 40-200 kids, who won’t be symptomatic, who will then be locked up at home to infect their whole families, and you’ll have a blossom of 1000 cases. Some of whom will still be going to work infected and asymptomatic, and give it to co-workers, who’ll give it to their kids, and so on, and so on.

That’s how a pandemic marches on wards.
And it will be everywhere.

Take a pair of ordinary dice. There are only 36 possible combinations (6×6). So the raw chance for any roll is a hair under 3% (2.77% for the anal retentive math geek crowd). If coronavirus only has a 3% chance at being transmitted, every time you’re out and about, you’re rolling the dice. Except you touch things 1000 times a day, and your face about 500 times. (We’ll forget about droplets, mucous membranes, and inhalation vectors from coughing and sneezing people for the moment). So, roll the dice every day, and see how long before snake eyes comes up. Remember those thousands of touches, and 500 times touching your face.

After rolling dice 164 times, your chance of getting snake eyes is 99% probable.

So being out and about, in a world becoming saturated with asymptomatic carriers, you’re not just likely to get Kung Flu, you’re going to get it . 

For probably 80% of all persons, two weeks to a month of PITA. For some of them, they may not even know they have it! For 10-17%, you’re going to the hospital. But unless you’re dying, you aren’t getting in. And about 3 people out of every 100 are going to die from it. 

If everybody in CA gets it, that’s up to 1.2M deaths. Leaving us with 38.8M swinging Richards afterwards. For Texas, it would be up to 870K dead, and 28M still there. Nationwide, up to 10M dead, and 320M still here.

That’s if mortality holds at 3%, and everyone gets it. Juggling those numbers around on the slide rule gets you any answer you want.

Bad for the 10M dead, and the 20-50M hospitalized/laid out, but that’s not the catastrophe, per se.

The real problem is, the only way to stop this is to send everyone – everyone – home, until 30 days after the last case gets well or dies. Even the idiots among TPTB will figure this out, after exhausting all other half-assed options (just like in China).

If you do nothing, you lose 10M outright, and 50M who can’t work for months, and 100M more out for up to a month, but not all at once.

That’s the problem. Either of those options screws the economy like a $2 hooker, which is why the stock market is in free fall, why Italy and China have thrown in the towel, and why Korea and the rest of Europe probably will too, before we figure it out.

And until you self-quarantine, and don’t pop positive in the next month, you won’t know you don’t have it already either.

So the $64 Questions is, how long can you miss work, school etc., and how much money, water, food, medicine, and other necessities do you have, to stay home for what may become a mandatory extended quarantine? Will you have a job to go back to when it’s over? Will anyone?

We’ll leave the discussion of how you hold a valid general election for the President, 1/3 of the Senate, and the entire Congress amidst this sort of thing, for another time.

Local observation:

I note for informational purposes that the local bookseller, B and N, is suddenly light on disaster/survival/preparedness books, which had formerly just been gathering dust, and is now missing every volume on first aid. Because I check those aisles 2-3X/week, and probably know them better than store staff.

Some people are getting edjumicated, apparently.

—————–

Also, over at WRSA, one of the He’s-who-shall-not-be-named observed accurately that contrary to all dystopian fiction, the stores remain open and unburnt, rather than the popular “stripped to the walls in 48-72 hours”.

Allow me to respond:

Food isn’t coming here from China (unlike N95 masks), the trucks are still running, and you’re still free to travel, and not under draconian quarantine.
Yet.

So there isn’t any national emergency, for the moment.
{cf. 1940: Phony War. Compare and contrast with Dunkirk, and the Battle of Britain, a few months later.}

Once you can’t go out, it won’t matter what’s on the shelf. The average person and family has three days’ food at home. (If you have more, by definition, you’re above average, just like the kids at Lake Wobegone. That also means somewhere there’s some jackass who has less than three days on hand.)

So, how long do store shelves stay stocked (and not gloriously aflame) when the trucks aren’t rolling, and Trayvon Diversity and his posse go emergency shopping after midnight, with a brick and a machete?

And what happens when people who depend on prescriptions, made from precursors that aren’t coming from China, and haven’t been for the last month or two, start getting shorted on their Rx meds, esp. the ones that
a) keep them alive, or
b) keep them sane and functional?

Just curious.
Feel free to extrapolate at your own leisure, as you see fit, considering those new data points.

9 COMMENTS:

Ned2 said…
Your numbers are good as long as this thing doesn’t mutate again, (and again?)
I’m out in the boonies, over 50 miles from the nearest town. Yesterday a car load of people including a sniveling brat from Washington state came though the gas station where I was fueling up. The kid had what appeared to be a cold. I watched them touch everything. We don’t need airports to spread this.
Everyone is oblivious.
Yet the mainstream media, the CDC, and bloviating pundits who ought to know better are all telling us that it’s not much worse than the flu. And that if we’re preparing, we’re e-e-evil hoarders.

I stand by what I’ve done-I “panicked” early and got all the things I didn’t have, or didn’t have enough of, and stacked them away. If I have to, I can dive in the hole and pull it in after me and be good. Except for the issue of Mrs. Freeholder, who is still stuck in the elementary school disease factory until the fools figure out it needed to close 2 weeks ago. But hey, they been talking to the county and state health goobers, and it’s all good. She got that call yesterday and came rushing to me with her phone on speaker and held out. “Listen to this!”

Yeah, we’re going to be screwed if these people don’t un-eff themselves RFN.

Aesop said…
Italy, with only a few more deaths than we have RFN, shut their entire country down this past week.

Those potential 10M dead I mentioned?
TPTB are going to see that we get them, if at all possible.

Unknown said…
It appears that RdRP, RNA dependent RNA polimerase is inhibited competitively by zinc in the cytoplasm of mamalian cells. This limits the ability of some +rna viruses to initiate their propagation cascade. Corona viruses have been shown in general to exhibit this weakness. Whether or not the honey badger virus can be defeated this way remains to be seen. Zn is cheap CT scans not so much. Pound of prevention you know.
Anonymous said…
A nurses union says that most hospitals are not prepared, 

https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/press/survey-nations-frontline-registered-nurses-shows-hospitals-unprepared-covid-19

Comments? 

Anonymous said…
Calm down. I have a great cruise ship opportunity for you. 1/4 the regular price. Take some time off. Kick back. It’s going to China by the way.
Aaron said…
Anonymous,

Nobody is prepared, the least of all hospitals. In my 10 years in the ED only one thing was ever certain and that was that we were going to run out of beds…on a usual Tuesday night. All the admitted patients, including ICU patients, then languished downstairs with us. That means that the nurse taking care of the unit patient was also working up a fresh chest pain or stroke alert while also getting the baby from the hood with a fever that should’ve been given Tylenol at home (“but that s*** expensive”. Mom has hair did, fresh nails and the newest iPhone). As far as supplies go after the hurricane in PR we started running out of normal saline. That was JUST Puerto Rico. China makes almost ALL of our masks. My own facility is rationing PPE as we speak (no coveralls, no booties-just a gown) and we have roughly 1 1/2 boxes of N95 masks left and I’m pretty sure they walked out.

Everyone needs to know that in the VERY near future are going to lose the ability to go to the hospital as we have always done. On any normal day our just-on time barebones low-stock medical system is stretched to the brink. Add this BS to it and that level of care is soon going to go away and we will truly be on our own.

Anonymous said…
“and you’re still free to travel, and not under…quarantine…Yet.”

“Yet” is so this morning…

https://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2020/03/05/placer-county-health-officer-order-coronavirus/

Multiple stories on it, with LE ordering people “heads back inside” just for sticking there head out to see what is happening in their neighborhood.

The deceased was on the GP cruise.

Roger said…
Oooooh and the fun will really begin soon when the newly available Covid 19 test kits become commonly available and the REAL infection numbers are public. (That is if the .gov decide to allow the data out.)

 

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