Sunday, March 8, 2020


One thing I like to do from time to time here on this blog is to ensure people freak out about things at an appropriate level. As such I'd like to discuss Covid-19, the Coronavirus.

Lets parse this article suggesting 1.9 MILLION people in Ireland could get sick.

Here are some key passages:

you need to be 15 minutes or more in the vicinity of an infected person, within 1-2 metres, to be considered at-risk or a close contact.


Around 80% of cases of Covid-19 are a mild to moderate illness

Now lets look at some numbers: This graph shows death rates in China from Coronavirus.

Note that while China has a highly developed healthcare system with quality care options, it still can not match the kind of care offered in North America, Europe, or other OECD countries. Keep in mind that studies have shown that youth malnutrition can impact health as an adult, and that 50-60 years ago, China was still recovering from the disastrous "Great Leap Forward"

In short; if you are under the retirement age, your chances of dying from Coronavirus are low.

If you are over that age, however, you need to take note.

This, however, does not only apply to the elderly, it applies to those who know elderly people, like you and me. I am 35, and while I have asthma, I am otherwise healthy when it comes to the Coronavirus and my potential to get sick. There has not been any link yet showing asthma carries a higher death risk (I looked for this yesterday) and I am confidant that even if I get a full on infection, I will still be here blogging a month later.

My father, however, is 75. I am much more concerned that if I get sick, I could pass it on to him.

So, what am I doing as a response?

For starters, I've looked up the actual symptoms. The two big ones are fever and a dry cough.

I've also looked up transmission. For example, yesterday I saw a man at the grocery store who was coughing a lot. Need I be concerned? In short; no. My biggest risk in that case would be him coughing on something directly. Short of that, unless I planned on having an extended conversation with him, the statistics show that my chances of being infected from him are extremely low. Additionally, in the previous week, 5,000 people in Ontario had the flu, minimum. The number with Covid-19 stands at 23, also a minimum. I also live 90 minutes north of Toronto. Ergo, this man almost certainly simply had the flu.

In short, the proper response is to do two things. First, to keep up to date on information, and second is not to panic - IE assume everyone around you will drop dead.

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