Cat Ellis, the herbal prepper and author of The Wuhan Coronavirus Survival Manual, has written an article about the coronavirus for The Organic Prepper. There is still a lot that we don’t know about the coronavirus, but we do know that it is highly contagious. There is still some question about the fatality rate, but estimates are still above 2% which is many times the rate for influenza but about the same as for the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918.
…What was not known from the beginning was the rate of transmission and what percentage of people who become infected will become seriously or critically ill.
Worldometers breaks down the number of total active cases into mild and serious/critical categories. As of February 24, 2020, about 82% have a mild illness, and about 18% have a serious/critical illness requiring hospitalization. This is up from a rate of approximately 13% serious/critical cases just a few weeks ago.
Could this mean that the virus is mutating to become more dangerous? Possibly. But it could also just mean that as more data is collected, this additional data gives us a clearer picture of the real case fatality rate. Remember that the data we’ve received from China all along has been questionable. As the virus spreads to countries with more transparency, what we thought we knew is bound to change.
The same source cites the rate of transmission at between 2 to 3, meaning if there were a room with 10 people, and a person infected with this virus entered the room, you could reasonably expect 2 to 3 people to also become infected. For perspective, that is also 2 to 3 times as contagious as the flu.
The Worldometers coronavirus tracker, which is in line with several other coronavirus trackers from Johns Hopkins, BNO News, and Visa List, also lists the results of closed cases, i.e. cases with an actual outcome. Of the known outcomes, 91% recovered and 9% were fatal. What this means is that out of all the confirmed COVID-19 cases, about 18% will lead to serious or critical illness requiring hospital-level care and that 9% of that subset will die.
What about that 2% mortality rate? Part of the problem with calculating a case fatality rate is that you can’t actually know the true mortality rate (case fatality rate) until the outbreak is completely over. Until then, there are still cases without an outcome. In COVID-19, there are thousands more cases without outcomes yet.
The case fatality rate of 9% comes from taking the total cases of fatalities (2,701) and dividing it by the total number of cases with outcomes (30,334), then multiplying by 100 to get a case fatality rate of almost 9%…
If this virus continues to spread, it would be reasonable to expect massive disruptions to modern life, manufacturing, shipping, and shortages of all kinds. The number of fatalities from other illnesses, accidents, and lack of services would be in addition to the fatalities from the coronavirus itself. If you are preparing for this, remember that you aren’t just preparing for a cushy 2-week staycation. You’re preparing for something that affects many other facets of your life.
While containment still remains the mainstay of WHO and CDC policy, if we pay attention to what our government, military, and world health agencies are telling us, they are preparing for a full-on coronavirus pandemic.
We have authorities in infectious disease telling us to have food and plans in place in the event you suddenly find yourself under travel restrictions or in a full-blown, lock-down quarantine. I’m not sure what else there is to say except this is not a drill.
I hope that containment will still save the day. Perhaps we will do better in the United States than some others will, and not see COVID-19 spread any further, unlike Italy with large clusters forming seemingly overnight, leading to school and work closings in multiple cities.
While I always hope for the best, I also always plan for the worst. You won’t get much time to prepare if things begin spreading rapidly where you are. You’d be wise to do so ahead of time.