by Karl Denninger, Market Ticker:
There are 130,689 positive tests for Coronavirus in NY.
Of that 30,203 people have been hospitalized for Coronavirus (cumulative)
We know about half of Coronavirus infections are asymptomatic, so they are neither tested or admitted to the hospital.
So the basic risk of being hospitalized with Coronavirus, ignoring those who have symptoms but are not serious enough to be tested (we do not know how large this number is but it’s not zero) is: 0.23 (rate of positives .vs. admissions) * 0.5 (silent infections) = 0.12 or 12%.
NY does not report cumulative ICU admissions but the current hospital and ICU numbers are available. That is about 25%. In other words if admitted about a quarter go on to need ICU treatment.
So 0.12 * 0.25 = 0.03 or 3% of persons who get coronavirus, ignoring those who are symptomatic but not seriously enough to test, wind up in the ICU.
We can reasonably assume that if you die you wind up in the ICU first, no matter for how long. That is obvious; they will try to save you.
Of the people who have died in NY as of 9:30 AM on April 7th there were 2,407 with one of a list of classified serious, in fact often fatal diseases and 55 with no such disease. (740 are pending and will show up in future reports.) In other words if you have no such serious and in fact often fatal underlying condition you make up 2.29% of the deaths.
Now let’s assume that if you go into the ICU you inevitably die. This is obviously bull**** but lets assume that to be the case.
This means that if you have no underlying serious and in fact often-fatal condition your risk of death from this virus if you get it is 0.0687% in New York.
These numbers shift from day to day and are a maximum as they ignore all of the people who get sick but mildly so — that is, those who get Coronavirus, have symptoms, but do not qualify to be tested and it also assumes that every ICU admission in a person with one of those conditions is fatal; every single one of those persons die. As such this calculation grossly overstates the risk of death — but by exactly how much is not possible to determine, since we have no accurate statistics available on those who are symptomatic but fail the “test criteria” and thus are uncounted, but symptomatic, positives.
For a risk of less than 0.0687% of death, quite possibly much less by a factor of two or more, if you are a healthy individual and get the virus, we have destroyed millions of jobs and placed 330,000,000 people under effective house arrest.
May I point out that SARS has a risk of death of 15% among the general population and more than 50% among those over 65?
Now if you’re one of the 0.0687% does it suck? Absolutely. It is not a zero risk by any means.
But do we have justification to mass-arrest the entire population and destroy 20% or more of the economy because of a 0.0687% risk among those not specifically at risk for a bad outcome, when we could strongly urge such persons at said high risk, all of whom know who they are as these are not “silent” conditions — if you have one you know you have it — to shelter in place and/or attempt prophylaxis with HCQ?
Such mass-arrest is unjustified on the basic arithmetic and further, for those who are not actually infected, is neither Constitutional or lawful.
This is a bad bug. But in the annals of “really bad bugs” such as SARS, MERS, Ebola, Smallpox and similar it doesn’t even register as particularly interesting.
The proof is in the numbers: thus far we have had one and a half days worth of ordinary American mortality out of it. At the same time we have consigned over 150,000 Americans to spend their last days without the basic social pleasures that make up a full, ordinary, and free life.
If we wind up with ten times as many dead will it be justified? No.