The European Union and the US, Apples to Apples on Wuhan Virus


The EU has a total population of 513 million vs America’s 327 million, so apples to apples, they should have 57% more coronavirus cases than the America.

As of today (3/27) America has 83.5 K cases and the total EU has 276K cases. That’s only 30% of the European total, but only in part accounted for by the population disparity.

Adjusting for population, America should have 176.6 cases, double our current count, or the EU has far too many cases. But which, should ours be more or theirs less?

Actual death rates are even more skewed, for over 16,000 have died in EU while only 1200 in the US.

The daily rate of climb (if you’d bother to calculate then graph these figures) has slowed down in the EU, but they had about a 2-3 week head start in counting, as America shut down the importation of the virus from abroad almost 3 weeks in advance of Europe.


It will be interesting to watch these comparisons in the next 10-14 days, not so much as a competition, but rather as a comparison since the EU is entirely run by (socialist) national health programs (NHS) while the American system is an open market system. NHS systems are none too eager to expend scarce(r) state resources to save elderly patients, and Obama promised us the same under his “dream” single-payer system, which never quite materialized.

So how can an open-society health care system corral this virus?

A “pandemic” is a disease prevalent over a whole country or the world. It is an event that is already occurring or has occurred, not just one that may be occurring in the future. For the time being I am skeptical that this is pandemic, at least in the United States, or that it is even likely to become one, because I’ve already seen many people wear a face shield with glasses and take up precautionary measures.

While we have the best medical technicians and analysts in the world, we can compare favorably (sic) with any country, no matter how authoritarian, if there is a political end that can be gained. And statistics are easier to fudge or re-arrange in systems where there are no one looking over their shoulders, double-checking their math, so to speak.

So it’s wise to be skeptical, especially if offered up by non-medical specialists advising various governors and mayors, (Ohio, Nevada, New York) or PSA videos by young male doctors with pony-tails and white lab coats in Michigan, offering 13 minutes of advice on how to spend extra dollars to take every packaged item from the grocery store and put them in sanitized containers to avoid the risk of prior handling. Good advice, I suppose, but when the opening introduction mentions “pandemic” as a living, breathing event, and then there’s that pony-tail, I tend to listen with skepticism.

Lastly, I’ve mentioned clusters, and we are still on the front end of knowing how this virus spreads.

Imagine a Times Square New Years event, with 100,000 people gathered below, and you are 20 stories up and dump at least as many confetti-sized shredded ticker-tape pieces over the crowds head. 1) How many people will that paper actually land on, and 2) How many on exposed body parts; hands and face?

For the majority of corona virus cases, this is the kind of randomness in calculating the risk to the individuals at Times Square, except to note that if they are under 60-70, and don’t have certain pre-existing respiratory conditions, they are likely not a great risk, especially if, when they go home, they shower down.

So, being able to get a better read about when people cluster, I think some medical groups could be studying known gatherings, such stores. Better still, for regular repeat traffic, consider smaller groups such as churches, from 50-200, or exercise gyms and clubs. My local YMCA has thousands of members, and I am one to visit it 7 days a week, at the same morning hours 9:30-11:00. I have a general idea about the daily and thrice-weekly visitors for those hours. And the membership is quite cosmopolitan, a lot of professional retirees who travel often (cruises, vacations) and from several different countries, and a good racial and ethnic mix.

It would take a state agency some legwork to statistically any one of these, but it seems, for future benefit, it would give medical agencies a leg-up on future outbreaks (and we know if the political has their way, knowing now how easy it is to shut down an entire nation and economy) in being able to hit the ground running.

Establishing interview protocols should be easy and from those good profiles.




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