“Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths” From New York Times

In this post I link to and excerpt from the New York Times* article of March 13, 2020 by Sheri Fink, Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths:

*I think that every thoughtful citizen should subscribe to the New York Times [This is not an affiliate link, I just believe everyone should subscribe whether conservative or liberal -the paper is thoughtful and well balanced].

Projections based on C.D.C. scenarios show a potentially vast toll. But those numbers don’t account for interventions now underway.

The C.D.C. scenarios have not been publicly disclosed. Without an understanding of how experts view the threat, it remains unclear how far Americans will go in adopting socially disruptive steps that could help avert deaths.

[The CDC conferred with  experts from around the world last month to make estimates of the course of the Corona virus outbreak in the United States.]

How many people might die? How many would be infected and need hospitalization?

The C.D.C.’s scenarios were depicted in terms of percentages of the population. Translated into absolute numbers by independent experts using simple models of how viruses spread, the worst-case figures would be staggering if no actions were taken to slow transmission.

Between 160 million and 214 million people in the U.S. could be infected over the course of the epidemic, according to one projection. That could last months or even over a year, with infections concentrated in shorter periods, staggered across time in different communities, experts said. As many as 200,000 to 1.7 million people could die.

And, the calculations based on the C.D.C.’s scenarios suggested, 2.4 million to 21 million people in the U.S. could require hospitalization, potentially crushing the nation’s medical system, which has only about 925,000 staffed hospital beds. Fewer than a tenth of those are for people who are critically ill.

[But it need not be that bad. There are many things we can do to mitigate (decrease) those projections.]

“When people change their behavior,” said Lauren Gardner, an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering who models epidemics, “those model parameters are no longer applicable,” so short-term forecasts are likely to be more accurate. “There is a lot of room for improvement if we act appropriately.”

Those actions include testing for the virus, tracing contacts, and reducing human interactions by stopping mass gatherings, working from home and curbing travel. In just the last two days, multiple schools and colleges closed, sports events were halted or delayed, Broadway theaters went dark, companies barred employees from going to the office and more people said they were following hygiene recommendations.

Please review the full article, Worst-Case Estimates for U.S. Coronavirus Deaths, for all the  important details.


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