Why COVID-19 is not like Flu

Compton_effect

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Here's a chilling explanation from Reddit user r/Kofficakes why comparing COVID-19 to Flu is flawed and dangerous

A lot of people clearly do not understand logarithmic math (exponential growth) or epidemiology, which is OK since it's hard, so let me explain it. People post true (but utterly irrelevant) things like "45M americans got the flu last year and 61,000 of them died" to say how COVID-19 isn't even as bad as the regular flu, and even though they are comparing apples to oranges (and indeed, last year's crop of apples to this year's crop of oranges), I'll use their numbers for comparison. If 45M Americans got COVID-19 this year as happened with the regular flu last year, at the current Case Fatality Rate (7% actual CFR), that would mean over 3M dead Americans. Not 61 thousand. 3 million. But because COVID-19 has a higher transmission rate (2x higher), if it became as endemic (widespread) as the flu, 45M Americans wouldn't get it, 90M would. That means more than 6M would be dead. Only 3M Americans die each year from all causes put together. Yes, old age, disease, murder, accidents - everything.

These people are looking at last year's Daytona 500 race results and saying that last year's winner will win again because they are also racing this year. Except they are still driving a 35 HP Herbie the Love Bug, and COVID-19 is a world record setting Hennessey Venom with 1,244 HP. The race has just started, but COVID-19 is already half a lap ahead of Herbie. Halfway through the year, it will be, unfortunately, more than a hundred miles in the lead. The number of cases of COVID-19 doubles about every 6 days. Right now it's around 1,500 (known) in the US. That means that in 6 days it should be about 3,000. Another 6 days, 6,000, etc. In a month, 48,000. In 2 months, 1.5M. In 3 months, 48M infected. More than the flu last year, and with 50 times as many deaths. Unless we stop it.

Right now we have no vaccine. All we have are our wits. Wash your hands, don't touch people, don't touch your face, don't touch door handles or elevator buttons or cash. All good advice. Stay away from crowds, and cough and sneeze into your elbow. You're not just protecting yourself, since you won't know you have it for 5-14 days after you get it yourself. If we all stay home and watch TV for a month or two, we can let the CDC isolate the existing cases and get rid of it. If we blow it off and keep gathering and traveling, it won't get any better. Don't panic, just enjoy your staycation and call your parents. They are at more risk than you are. And be careful out there!
 

Lupus

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You can't actually work like that, cause you're working out the CFR basically from the entire world, which is including Italy which has a high CFR for most cases like this due to the freaking age of the people there which has rapidly skewed this.
The CFR for the US is 1.75% and that's only because the reported confirmed cases are probably not all there. This is also not as high a transmission rate as people think either, if it was we'd be sitting at millions in the last 4 months, not the 200 000 we have.
 

Gordon_R

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Misinformation works both ways. Rather stick to more reliable and knowledgeable sources.
 

yebocan

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Here's a chilling explanation from Reddit user r/Kofficakes why comparing COVID-19 to Flu is flawed and dangerous
numbers are at current levels, that generally spike and than level out as the ****er spreads and hits resistance from healthier parts of the population. Scary none the less and yes it is not the bloody flu
 

Lupus

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Taking current CFR for the states it would be under 800 000 that died, if and I'm saying this if the CFR carries through. As currently the Netherlands is higher than the US at 2.75% but it's got less reported cases and less reported deaths, but because the numbers are low it will be higher.
China is now down to 4% but Italy is still leading with 8%, Iran is around 6% and so on.
 

Lupus

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numbers are at current levels, that generally spike and than level out as the ****er spreads and hits resistance from healthier parts of the population. Scary none the less and yes it is not the bloody flu
Yes you're correct it's not the flu, as the flu itself is also not something to sniff at. Perhaps what it should be called is it's not the cold bro?
 

yebocan

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Yes you're correct it's not the flu, as the flu itself is also not something to sniff at. Perhaps what it should be called is it's not the cold bro?
whatever we settle on, central : be safe, keep your family safe - and don't lose your humanity, this thing is after us all.
 

Lupus

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whatever we settle on, central : be safe, keep your family safe - and don't lose your humanity, this thing is after us all.
This applies to everything yes :) but also remember if you do get it, you'll more than likely be fine. Seek medical attention for anything that resembles a cold/flu that becomes serious.
 

Compton_effect

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Misinformation works both ways. Rather stick to more reliable and knowledgeable sources.
Agree there. But this is a more practical way to stop those Flu arguments. This is more dangerous than Flu - which is why we are overreacting.
 

Lupus

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Agree there. But this is a more practical way to stop those Flu arguments. This is more dangerous than Flu - which is why we are overreacting.
No it's not a more practical way, it's completely wrong, working on the incorrect assumptions. This is what sparks panic and people to say it's more dangerous than the flu.
 
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