Why the World is on Hold - The Corona Virus

March 13th, 2020
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 See https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus for the source of all the information below.

For many of those people that know me, I like numbers and stats. This whole COVID-19 thing is full of numbers to digest. There are so many stories, fearmongering and mis-information going on that nobody knows what’s real and what’s not.

Here’s my take on things. I am  not a doctor or infectious disease specialist, nor pretend to be.  This is my take on things from a numbers point of view.

You probably don’t want to get this flu. Even if it doesn’t affect you much physically, you may unknowingly give it to your immune-compromised / elderly friend or family member. They may not fare so well. For people 70+, the death rate is just under 10%.

Looking at the numbers, your chances of contracting COVID-19 are low. (up to 1 in 3500 if you are in Italy or 1 in 250,000 if you are in Canada as of March 13). The outbreak isn’t done, so these are best case scenarios.

Without considering containment measures, spreading of a virus is an exponential function. (1 goes to 5, 5 to 25, 25 to 125, etc). If you look at the graphs, that’s what has happened for most of the infected countries (see first half of chart below for China – to maybe Feb 13 or so).

 Corona cases in China

Then China put in drastic measures to curb the spread of the virus. That is when the curve started to level off. Yesterday (March 12), there was only 1 confirmed new case reported in China.

South Korea – same thing – exponential growth for a bit, and now is levelling off due to drastic measures taken.

  Conora Virus Cases in South Korea


It was less than a week ago when Italy started putting in extreme containment measures. Still no real improvements, but it’s been less than 2 weeks since it was even considered an outbreak. Let’s hope the number of new cases starts levelling off quickly.

  Corona Cases In Italy

If you look at charts for Spain, Germany, France & USA, they are still increasing exponentially. Eg, see the US graph below.

  Corona Cases In USA - March 13

So we don’t know when or at what numbers the virus will level off at. But in many countries, the spread is not under control. That is why Governments are going to unprecedented lengths to minimize the impact. Cancelling sports at all levels, concerts, gatherings and advising against travel is probably a good thing. Hopefully that’s enough. I guess we’ll see in a couple weeks. I hope this works. There’s no reason to watch TSN right now. I can only take so many Poker re-runs!

So my take on this is that the risk right now is very small in Canada. We need to keep that risk low though.

Be smart and wash your hands. Maybe this is an opportunity to spend some quality family time.

And one last thing – leave some toilet paper for someone else!!!

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