The latest on Coronavirus, beg pardon, I mean COVID-19 or ‘The Virus’.
There are now well over half a million confirmed cases globally, most of them now in the USA – whose political leader has been reprising the role of King Cnut, holding back the waves by royal decree on the sea shore, as history records it. That story, by the way, was perhaps the first ever to be misreported by whatever passed as ‘mainstream media’ at the time.
I can happily report that the real death rate from The Virus appears to be holding at 16% (the same as I reported yesterday) after a daily increase of 1% for the previous six days.
I can also happily report that 28% of confirmed cases (more than one in four but less than one in three) have now been closed.
On the other hand, of the ongoing cases, the ‘serious or critical’ ones have jumped to 5% from 4% yesterday.
From these current figures, which are based on the Worldometers data as I write (it will have moved on as you read this), I think it is fair to say that somewhere between 5% and 16% of all confirmed cases will ultimately represent the CFR or Case Fatality Rate for COVID-19 – providing at some stage the virus does not redefine itself into something much worse or simply restart as a more vigorous second wave. Either of those figures or anywhere in between them would be catastrophic to our way of life in the 21st century, not just to the families of the deceased.
We can only assess the progression of The Virus on data, however rubbery it may be, that we have at hand. I do not accept any historical comparisons or forecasts against previous viral outbreaks. Every virus is different. This one is no exception to that.
We are fortunate that today we still have the means of communication to rapidly assess its ongoing effect on a global basis. Depending on the severity of its impact on our way of life through whatever fallout ensues from it, that may not always be the case.
Why can I make these assessments? Because this is no short, sharp, interruption to the normality of existence for modern humans. It has all the hallmarks of, and we are doing our best to assist it, being a long drawn out affair. Any attempt to cut this short (viz. Trump) will only make matters worse. Along with that, our global economy is at this point in time so exposed and fragile, poised on a knife-edge so to speak, that it can not withstand any kind of disruption at all, without itself crumbling in a heap. Or at best, there remaining only islands of retained cohesive economic activity scattered around the world – none of those being in the West, or anywhere else that is not fully self-sufficient in the means to hold such activity together for a while longer. I speak mainly of China and Russia, but even in those countries life will not be the same because they both rely, for their economic welfare and industrial capacity, on either/or imports/exports to/from other parts of the world – parts which will most likely never get to function at the same capacity as they formerly did prior to the great disruption. So the industrial/economic capacity of even these two nations will tend to shrink and turn inward as time passes.
This is the reality we face. The Virus is just the current face of that. But The Virus is not to blame for the bleak future that awaits us. I think you know who is.