By Kennedy Shelley
This story is written on March 25, 2020 so anything can happen on March 26, but on March 25 there were several stories that showed that this pandemic will end.
#1 – The number of positive tests in Washington State dropped.
One of the reasons that Seattle was hit early was a traveler returned from China just as the pandemic was starting in Wuhan.
As a result, per capita they have been one of the hardest-hit areas earlier than most areas.
Washington finally had a drop in confirmed cases after two weeks of daily increases.
#2 – If you get it, you will probably never get it again.
Rarely will you see an academic make such an absolute statement:
“I can tell you, if you got [COVID-19] and you got really sick, I am sure that will make an antibody response that will also last.” – Prof. Martin Bachmann
Prof. Bachmann is the head of the department of immunology at the University of Bern in Switzerland who has been studying disease since 1995 and taught at Oxford and not one to make these types of predictions lightly.
This goes back to the early predictions that at some point in the future this will end because once enough people get immune, there won’t be much more spread.
#3 – The predictions of statisticians show that it will end earlier than the media would like it to.
CNN and most of the 24-hour networks seem to think the outbreak is a ratings bonanza, but Dr. Michael Levitt, who won the Nobel Prize and is a biophysicist at Stanford has been remarkably accurate in his projections on the spread of the disease in China.
Why listen to him instead of a Medical Doctor? Well, very few doctors can do statistics. Most don’t know the difference between relative risk and absolute risk.
So, they prescribe statin drugs to people saying “this will cut your risk of a heart attack by 40% so put up with the side effects” but if they knew absolute risk, they would know the real number is .08%.
Medical Doctors know a great deal, but not hard-core statistics and Dr. Levitt does.
For fun, he started tracking the spread in China and figured out almost to the day when the crisis would end, and it was much shorter than anyone said.
Dr. Levitt received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry because of his work for developing complex models of chemical reactions.
He has the right mind to clarify complex problems.
He was in the LA Times on March 23 and noted that the rate of deaths was dropping in January and showed that the crisis would be over in a week in China and he was right.
He showed that with proper social distancing the virus spread peaks quickly and stops.
#4 – Look at the cruise ships.
Forbes magazine this week took an interesting look at the Diamond Princess ship that was quarantined in Japan for a month.
Even though a bunch of high-risk people were stuck on the ship for a month less than 19% got the disease. Only .2% died.
Not everyone who shared a cabin with someone infected came down with the disease.
Even people who could not socially isolate did not necessarily get the disease.
#5 – Most people fight off this disease quickly.
Most people who get Covid-19 feel a little under the weather for a day or so, and that is it.
In the Journal Nature Medicine, they looked at people who contracted the virus and recovered in a couple of days.
Just getting the virus is not a death sentence, it means a slight cold for the biggest group of people who get it.
Of those who get it, 1 or 2 percent get so sick they need to be hospitalized so they can use a ventilator.
The concern is that 500 people needing a ventilator at once would swamp most communities, so they are trying to slow down the spread.
In short, this isn’t the black plague that is going to kill your family and is probably going to be shorter in duration than most of the pundits are saying.