Coronavirus, coronavirus, coronavirus, is your whole life just coronavirus? Well right now it kind of is. Dr. Fauci, the medical face of the national response to the coronavirus epidemic, gave his first somewhat definitive interpretation of what the likely outcome of the current wave of the epidemic will be in a TV interview yesterday. (Fauci Interview) He indicated that he believes, based on the models, that we will have “millions” of cases and 100,000 to 200,000 deaths. He also said that in his experience models always “overshoot”, so he was taking more of a midrange case. Part of the problem is not just that models do give a range and the upper end may overshoot, but that the media and some politicians are fond of picking the upper end and acting as though that is the likely outcome. In any event, my home state of Minnesota has 1.7% of the United States population. So we could expect 1700 to 3400 deaths, although due to the relatively small density of our population and other factors, I think it will be less than that. You may recall our Governor said there would be up to 74,000 deaths. Seem like a big difference to you? And I would caution you again about calculating death rates. We have 9 deaths in Minnesota, 7 were in nursing homes or other group care settings for old people. Those people had a very high likelihood of mortality in the coming year. Their health condition is such that any additional health shock, or just the continued decline in health, will likely lead to death. It therefore becomes questionable to treat their deaths as due solely to coronavirus. Meanwhile the economic carnage continues apace.
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About this Blog
The Healthy Skeptic is a website about the health care system, and is written by Kevin Roche, who has many years of experience working in the health industry. Mr. Roche is available to assist health care companies through consulting arrangements through Roche Consulting, LLC and may be reached at [email protected].
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