The following data come from the excellent Worldometers website.
This selection is the basis for the questions on which, at the end of the article, I conclude.
Ranking of countries by number of cases on March 18
The initial panic is explained by the explosion of numbers in China in the Wuhan region.
- Every year an estimated 290,000 to 650,000 people die in the world due to complications from seasonal influenza (flu) viruses. This figure corresponds to 795 to 1,781 deaths per day due to the seasonal flu.
- SARS (November 2002 to July 2003): was a coronavirus that originated from Beijing, China, spread to 29 countries, and resulted in 8,096 people infected with 774 deaths (fatality rate of 9.6%). Considering that SARS ended up infecting 5,237 people in mainland China, Wuhan Coronavirus surpassed SARS on January 29, 2020, when Chinese officials confirmed 5,974 cases of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV). One day later, on January 30, 2020 the novel coronavirus cases surpassed even the 8,096 cases worldwide which were the final SARS count in 2003.
- MERS (in 2012) killed 858 people out of the 2,494 infected (fatality rate of 34.4%).
Ranking of countries by number of deaths on March 18
It is confirmed by the explosion of figures in Italy, Iran, Spain, France and now the USA.
Ranking of countries by number of new deaths on March 18
The number of new deaths per day suggests that the situation is stabilising in China and South Korea, while it continues to flare up in Italy, Iran, Spain, France, the USA and the UK. Will Germany join them?
Ranking of countries by total cases in a million inhabitants on March 18
It is difficult to compare countries by density of registered patients. Small countries by population rise too easily to the top of the ranking (with only one patient for example, the Vatican rises proportionally to the second rank).
On the other hand, the cases of Italy, Spain and Iran are very significant.
Fatality rate by associated disease (comorbidity)
Once the orders of magnitude are established, it is useful to question the initial hypothesis that the world has been hit by an extraordinarily dangerous virus, COV-2.
Many of the deaths recorded can thus be explained by the combined action of the virus and serious pre-existing conditions.
Evolution of recovery rate vs death rate
We can also see that mortality is stagnating and that the cure rate is high.
Evolution of serious and critical cases
Are men more fragile than women?
Yes because smoking in China is much more prevalent among males. Smoking increases the risks of respiratory complications.
All of this raises real questions
Yes, let us do what is necessary to curb the epidemic and, by collective discipline, let us respect the instructions given.
Yes, let us be aware of the economic (and therefore social) risks involved in the exceptional measures taken by the governments of the major affected countries.
Yes, let us prepare for the next phase, not so much to ask the politicians to account for their mistakes (which are many and will take years to come to light) as to ask them to keep their word, the exceptional commitments they are currently making to enable them to survive under the pretext of protecting us.
In truth, it is a change of system, as if they were no longer governing for a few but for all, in a convivialist system where every life counts and anyone has a right to a decent life.
But, that being said, are not the real problems created by this epidemic greatly exaggerated by the magnifying glass effect of hyper connection?
- We all suffer from self-fueled epidemic anxiety. More than the disease itself (which seriously affects only a minority of us), it is fear itself that we should be afraid of. For instance…
- Ordinary citizens are stockpiling aberrant stocks to cope with the shortages heralded by the the war rhetoric of the rulers.
- Already insecured by previous policies of cutbacks, doctors and caregivers are overworked by the exceptional influx of sick people.
- Politicians who, for decades, have been aware of their loss of credibility, see their incompetence publicly exposed.
- All the pharmaceutical companies are in competition, those who have long been working in silence and use common sense in recommending proven treatments, those who hope to obtain the financing they have been lacking until now, those who speculate on the windfall profits that can be expected in a crisis situation (example of Tamiflu), and those who finally have the opportunity to influence public policy…