Mid-Pandemic Prognosis

The fatality rate for people who contact Covid-19 has dropped.

Look at the left table below. It shows the heavy toll the disease took on the early centers of US infection. Each state had greater than 5% of the cases ending in death. The table of the right is the states with the most cases (as of Aug 2). It’s good to seen that the states with recent surges have rates hovering about 2%. With New York and New Jersey in the same table, the drop in fatality rate strikes you as look down the right table.

Why did the fatality rate decline? Because the governors and populations protected the most vulnerable, long-term care facilities, those who preexisting conditions which lead to worst cases, and individuals self-isolating.

Prognosis

The opposite side of declining death rates points to wider spread of the disease through the population. With our lackluster ability to monitor who has the disease (whether they show symptoms or not) and the huge number of cases, it is most likely that the new coronavirus will be with us until everyone in the US has been exposed. That may take a couple of years.

Although many of us have greatly restricted our scope of activities, eventually second-hand cases will come into our airspace.

A 2% fatality rate means 6 million Americans will die of Covid-19, if the current policies continue and a vaccine is not found and generally available soon.

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