March 29, 2020

Covid-19 links and information

Here are daily totals from the site. The numbers are cases and fatalities, first world wide, then for the USA only. On 3-29-2020 I added the same pair of columns for Arizona.

3-17-2020	199584  7975   6203  107 
3-18-2020	219583  8928   8865  138 
3-19-2020	246583 10171  13925  194 
3-20-2020	270718 11365  17333  218 
3-21-2020	287379 11951  19459  263 
3-22-2020	343015 14721  33711  412
3-23-2020	374822 16379  42691  565
3-24-2020	--
3-25-2020	--
3-26-2020	526913 23719  81977 1186
3-27-2020	597008 27368 105016 1697
3-28-2020	667413 30830 123495 2210
3-29-2020	726187 33951 140458 2480  919 17
3-30-2020	784784 37652 160326 2971 1157 20
3-31-2020	864690 42233 188578 4059 1289 24
4-1-2020	937952 47064 214253 4982 1413 29
4-2-2020       1015862 53018 240529 5810 1598 32
We expect the growth to be geometric. I have heard the claim that the doubling time is every 3 to 3.5 days. To me, it looks more like 6 days from the data above. Some of this "inhibited growth" may be due to stay-at-home measures that are actually proving effective.

The US population is about 330 million. The Covid-19 mortality rate is 4 percent. Epidemiologists estimate 60-80 percent of the population will be exposed to (and presumably contract) the virus. Call this 70 percent. Based on this, we can predict about 9 million fatalities in the US once the virus has run its course.


The simplest way to distinguish Coronavirus from a Common Cold is that the COVID-19 infection does not cause a cold nose or cough with cold, but it does create a dry and rough cough. The virus is typically first installed in the throat causing inflammation and a feeling of dryness. This symptom can last between 3 and 4 days. The virus typically then travels through the moisture present in the airways, goes down to the trachea and installs in the lungs, causing pneumonia that lasts about 5 or 6 days. Pneumonia manifests with a high fever and difficulty breathing. The Common Cold is not accompanied, but there may be a choking sensation. In this case, the doctor should be called immediately.

Experts suggest doing this simple verification every morning: Breathe in deeply and hold your breath for 10 seconds. If this can be done without coughing, without difficulty, this shows that there is no fibrosis in the lungs, indicating the absence of infection. It is recommended to do this control every morning to help detect infection.


The virus hates heat and dies if it is exposed to temperatures greater than 80°F (27°C). Therefore hot drinks such as infusions, broths or simply hot water should be consumed abundantly during the day. These hot liquids kill the virus and are easy to ingest.
Avoid drinking ice water or drinks with ice cubes.

Ensure that your mouth and throat are always wet, never DRY. You should drink a sip of water at least every 15 minutes. WHY? Even when the virus enters water or other liquids through the mouth, it will get flushed through the oesophagus directly into the stomach where gastric acids destroy the virus. If there is not enough water, the virus can pass into the trachea and from there to the lungs, where it is very dangerous.

For those who can, sunbathe. The Sun's UV rays kill the virus and the vitamin D is good for you.

The Coronavirus has a large size (diameter of 400-500 nanometers) so face masks can stop it, no special face masks are needed in daily life. If an infected person sneezes near us, stay 10 feet (3.3 meters) away to allow the virus fall to the ground and prevent it from falling on you. When the virus is on hard surfaces, it survives about 12 hours, therefore when hard surfaces such as doors, appliances, railings, etc. are touched, hands should be washed thoroughly and/or disinfected with alcoholic gel The virus can live nested in clothes and tissues between 6 and 12 hours. Common detergents can kill it. Things that cannot be washed should be exposed to the Sun and the virus will die. The transmission of the virus usually occurs by direct infection, touching fabrics, tissues or materials on which the virus is present.

Washing your hands is essential. The virus survives on our hands for only about 10 minutes. In that time many things can happen, rubbing the eyes, touching the nose or lips. This allows the virus to enter your throat. Therefore, for your good and the good of all, wash your hands very often and disinfect them. You can gargle with disinfectant solutions (i.e. Listerine or Hydrogen Peroxide) that eliminate or minimize the amount of virus that can enter the throat. Doing so removes the virus before it goes down to the trachea and then to the lungs.

Disinfect things touched often: cellphone, keyboard, mouse, car steering wheel, door handles, etc

How the virus works

The virus itself is "SARS Cov-2", the disease it causes is Covid-19. This is a respiratory virus. The virus is transmitted by airborn droplets and by contact. The virus must be introduced into the trachea to cause infection. The virus binds to the ACE enzyme which is part of type II pneumatocyte cells in the lungs. (The lung has type I, which do gas exchange, and type II which produce surfactants). When a type II pneumatocyte dies, it triggers an inflammatory response. If this response is huge and goes out of control, the Alveoli fill with fluid. This is pneumonia. A lung full of fluid cannot exchange gases. Victims begin to breath rapidly and "tire out" trying to maintain this, or organ failure and sepsis due to lack of oxygen leads to death.

In 80 percent of people, the disease causes "mild" symptoms, where "mild" is defined as not requiring hospitalization. The other 20 percent will need ICU or a respirator.

70 percent of those who need ICU are obese or morbidly obese, with other comorbidities.

The Spanish Flu (1918)

When you read about this, you realize this was like no "flu" you and I have ever known. Take the 2018-2019 flu season ("normal" flu). In the US, 35.5 million got sick with the flu, 16.5 million of those sought medical care, 409,600 were hospitalized, and 34,200 died. This is a fatality rate of close to 0.1 percent among those who were infected. Similar to the traffic fatality rate.

In 1918, about 1/3 of the worlds population were infected (about 500 million people). There were at least 10 million deaths worldwide (about 2 percent of those infected). 675,000 died in the US.

My comments - most recent at the top

March 23

The most notable thing is the explosive growth in Italy. Italy now has 6000 fatalities, as compared to 3000 in China. This seems peculiar, and makes me wonder about the reliability of the data we are getting from China.

In a recent phone call, a friend who has been talking to some doctor friends emphasized to me the highly contagious nature of this virus. He cautioned me not to take it lightly and to do all I can to avoid exposure, especially at my age of 65+ citing an 8 percent mortality rate.

Fatalities in the US were 153 over the last 24 hours, pushing past my 100 per day due to traffic events yardstick. New York is still the hot spot in the US.

There is talk in the US about "not letting the cure be worse than the disease", which is something I have been saying for some time. We may rethink this once we see how bad the disease is. Ultimately it is all about tradeoffs. This discussion is certain to become polarized and heated.

March 19

At the time this sentence is being written approximately 200 people (in the US) have lost their lives due to the Covid-19 virus. To put this in perspective, in 2019, an estimated 38,800 people lost their lives to car crashes – a 2% decline from 2018 (39,404 deaths). This is very close to 100 traffic fatalities per day across the United States. Death in either case is tragic, but the comparison is worth making for any number of reasons. As of March 19, we see about 24 people per day dying from the Covid-19 virus in the US. However, if this thing behaves as we expect it to, we will see exponential growth.
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