Case data from today and yesterday are kind of broken, this count isn’t accurate, in fact all the reporting sites have incomplete data for the past couple of days.
It is probably time I level with all of you about what I think will happen. After 4 months of studying data, reading countless papers, books, and watching this migrate in our global culture, a few things have occurred to me. Those of you who know me, know that I do tend to go fast and deep on these things, I certainly have here.
Even though I post articles to the news section of my own site, I do not often read Coronavirus-related news articles. I never watch the president’s coronavirus briefings, or dwell on what his experts are communicating. I have found that whatever Trump and his “task force” have said, assume the opposite is true. This has proven to be a nearly infallible way of dealing with the president and his “task force.” They are spreading dangerous disinformation and hopefully they will all stand trial for malfeasance, or incompetence, or both. In fact, I’ve all but given up hope that any meaningful leadership will take place in its present, or future form. It will likely come from a place we cannot yet imagine.
I believe, without hesitation, that we are facing another 18-24 months of lock down, social distancing, infection, and death. In the last 250 years, the last 10 influenza pandemics, there has been a second and third wave. Each more deadly than the last. It is not reasonable to expect anything different with Covid-19. Surely, we do not actually know what will happen, this is a coronavirus, not a flu virus. But, does behave very much like a flu it is not unreasonable to make prediction as such. We are making the same mistakes that those before us made and they too felt that restrictions, masks, and social distancing was wrong. The sooner we accept that, the easier this will be to comprehend and make allowances and adjustments for.
There is no vaccine coming soon. Not in July, not in September, at best we may hope to expect a risky, rushed, and certainly not ubiquitously effective vaccine in 18-24 months. We have not developed a safe and effective vaccination from discovery to distribution sooner than 4 years. It’s not unreasonable to believe that one will not happen in a matter of weeks. If we are very lucky, we might see one a few months sooner, from what I’ve gathered August 2021 is a best-case-scenario at this point.
I see that states are reopening. People are tired of being restricted, tired of navigating the world fearfully, tired of uncertainty. I can help put some of that uncertainty to rest. Nearly all, at least 80% of us reading this, will get the virus in the next 18-24 months. Of that, 80% of those will recover leaving 20% to struggle, 10% of those will be fine and recover with minor medical intervention. The remaining 10% will need hospitalization, of those 5% will need intensive care and of those, 1% to 0.5% will die. Pick your population, either 325 million in the US, or 7.7 billion in the world and the formula looks like this: (population) / 2 x .01(and .005 respectively) = total deaths. So, in the US, that is a range of 830,000 to 1,675,000 total deaths. We’ll use 50% here, which is far more conservative
Yes, I said 800,000 to 1.6 million people dead in the US.
It is time, beyond time, for each of us to have a personal plan in which to carry us through this situation. The federal government may be able to assist you, in a minor way, but they will not protect you and they do not have the remotest semblance of a plan. The states are competing with one another for resources and contradicting one another based on party lines, they do not have a plan. The president is encouraging unrest, taking personal advantage for himself, and misleading the world on an hourly basis, he has no plan. Your local government is unlikely to have a plan. So the plan, it’s creation, it’s execution, and it’s modification on-the-fly falls upon each of us, for each of us to own the outcome.
My current plan is to continue to work from home, as I am fortunate to do, to do as much good work in order to distinguish myself as I possibly can, and to keep my family as far away from other people for as long as they will tolerate. I am not willing, unlike our leadership, to sacrifice anyone in my family to get back to Applebee’s for the 2 for $20 and happy hour mixed drinks. The question is, are you? I suspect not.
I want to be perfectly clear on a couple of points:
1). There is nothing we can do, this is inevitable. I’m not advocating tossing the masks and french kissing strangers. I’m saying there is nothing that any of us can do to stop this from happening.
2). There must be a time to return to abnormal life. That will happen soon. Go out, get take out, get groceries, and be aware of people and protect yourself. 50/50 you’ll be fine.
3). Nothing will return to normal. It will seem normal for a moment, but we will be clobbered again near the end of summer beginning of fall. This is far from over. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
4). If the vaccine comes, it will happen as we hit herd immunity and the virus begins to remove itself, it will appear as though the vaccination cured us all. If we get one… Like I said, 18-24 months and 800k – 1.6m dead later.
5). Maybe I’m wrong…. let’s hope that I am. What could be better for me to be dead wrong about this? I can think of no better outcome in the world.
Today’s projection data:
*Total projected cases in the US: 1,200,645
*Total projected deaths in the US: 65,169
Today’s actual data:
Total cases in the US: 1,237,633
Total deaths in the US: 69,921
*Historical data from yesterday is incomplete and the calculations are not accurate for 5/5/20.