How Coronavirus kills

How Coronavirus kills, by Joanne Nova.

The great news is ICU staff are getting much better at keeping people alive when they get ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome) which can happen with other diseases (like Influenza). Seems, the ICUs can keep 84% alive while they wait for the inflammation to subside and the damage to heal. Though the DIY version at home probably won’t be so effective.

Obviously, this explains my obsessive interest in the percentage needing ICU care and also the Ro (rate of reproduction or spread). With a shortage of ICU beds, slowing the spread makes a life-and-death difference. To bore you again: in Australia we have about 1 ICU bed per 12000 people or 2,000 ICU beds nationally.

As a reader wrote to me yesterday: It’s not practical to close the borders. My reply: It’s not practical to kill 100,000 people either but one or the other may happen. Do the maths. WHO estimates 1% CFR (Case Fatality Rate). Let’s be optimistic, call it 0.5%. Deaths in the next six months: Australia, 125,000; Canada, 175,000; New Zealand, 25,000, USA, 1.6m; UK, 300,000. Geddit?

Stock up at home:

Panic buying is what happens when people wait for the government to tell them to prepare.

Think of long lasting food that you will eat anyway, and don’t forget soap, toilet paper, toothpaste, disposable gloves, plastic bags, detergents, medicines (prescriptions). Mail order deliveries are a good option. The less physical shopping you need to do in the next few months, the better. Do it for your country. If you are out of the shops, and out of the hospital, that’s going to help the people who aren’t.

Close the borders, Mr Morrison.