We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
It is too soon to know. It will be useful in 18 months to get the real data and find out what worked and what didn't. Generally at this point in time those countries/cities with few covid-19 deaths simply haven't had their "outbreak" yet. They will. I think at some point we will find out what China's real stats are and it won't be pretty. Same for Mexico and other 3rd world countries.
Is it possible that the fatality rate will come down as the pandemic progresses? If the virus had a chance to spread before being noticed, which it probably did in NY, then the more vulnerable people might be over represented in the earlier fatal cases and therefore raise the early fatality rate? Once those people become a smaller part of the population then the survival rate could rise.
Historically, the first time a disease enters the human population it is far more severe and it also has a far greater range of symptoms than it does later on. Subsequent reappearances of the disease during periodic outbreaks are more predictable and less severe.
William McNeill makes this point in the historical survey Plagues and Peoples
A disease that mutates to less virulence won't burn out its hosts. Examples are return visits of plague after the initial pandemic years. Also, measles, which may have originated in cattle and is now in what you might call a stable relationship with humans.
Another article that misses the point completely.
The total number of infections long term probably won't be much different, but the load on the healthcare system at any one point will be lower, hopefully low enough that that healthcare system won't become overloaded.
Yeah? how about this? It slows down a fast moving disease.
it buys time for health officials to work out treatments, marshal equipment, design protocols and prophylactic measures for medical personnel and people at risk of exposure.
You do NOT want to roll the dice that the infection you or your spouse, child or parent get will be mild and not severe. And if that happens, better that it happens in May or June or July and did not happen in March, especially in hot spots like NYC.
"Sorry, but we're building herd immunity" is not something any sane person will want to explain to someone waiting in that window of time before knowing the disease is going to be bad or very bad, or is suffering in week five, or to the kid who just lost a grandparent.
I don't get this cavalier attitude that people have. If this were a pandemic of variola minor (one of the two forms of smallpox with a mortality rate similar to CV) would people be griping about civil rights during a quarantine or comparing it was just another kind of flu and demanding the right to reopen nightclubs?
SKorea just closed down schools again because of a spike in infections traced to nightclubbers who just had to get out of the house when restrictions were lifted. Thanks for working on herd immunity.