COVID-19, Flu, R0, Exponential Growth and Your Future

COVID-19, Flu, R0, Exponential Growth and Your Future

Sorry for the rant, but I needed to get this off my chest. 

It all comes down to mathematics. 

Most people I have spoken to over the last few weeks, who think they can do “life as normal”, have no understanding of exponential (viral) growth. 

Hopefully the following may give you an insight and better understanding of the NUMBERS driving the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This is why you HAVE to listen to the scientists and medicos. They have access to the STATS (numbers). 

They make their decisions based on the numbers, not conjecture, speculation and conspiracy. 

First, some definitions.

R0 (R Nought: The “Basic Reproduction Ratio” of a pathogen. The documented average of how many (unprotected) others you infect if you come into close contact. 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_reproduction_number

  • R0 > 1 :  Pathogen spread grows
  • R0 = 1 :  Pathogen spread stable
  • R0 < 1 :  Pathogen spread reduces (dies out)

The larger the R0, the faster the reproduction rate.

Example: R0 = 2

  • 2 people will each infect 2 others
  • Let this happen just 5 times
  • Infected = 2x2x2x2x2 = 32

Incubation Period: The time from infection to illness. 

Serial Interval (SI): Time taken for one R0 cycle. The mean period between symptom onset in an infector and an infectee.

The serial interval of COVID-19 is close to or shorter than its median incubation period. This suggests that a substantial proportion of secondary transmission may occur prior to illness onset. -PubMed-

Transmission: All the following pathogens are transmitted via airborne droplets.


R0 – Viral Comparisons 

The Scary Numbers

The following should show you why COVID-19 is WAY more virulent (severe or harmful) than the ‘Flu. and just a bit less virulent then the 1348 Bubonic Plague!

Black Death – 1348 (Yersinia pestis)

  • R0: 3 (2.8-3.5)
  • 10 cycles = 59,000
  • 15 cycles = 14 million
  • 20 cycles = 3.5 billion
  • Mean SI: 4 (2-7) days
  • World Population (1348): 475 million
  • Infected: 150+ million (30%+)
  • Killed: 50 million (10%)
  • Targeted: Everyone! 

~ 120 days (30 x 4) to potentially infect half the world!

They had NO idea what caused it (miasma) or any treatments to slow the spread and deaths. 

Spanish Flu – 1918 (H1N1)

  • R0: 2.0 (1.4-2.8)
  • 10 cycles = 1024
  • 15 cycles = 32,768
  • 20 cycles = 1 million
  • 25 cycles = 34 million
  • 30 cycles = 1 billion
  • Mean SI: 4 (2-7) days
  • World Population (1919): 2 billion
  • Infected: 500 million (25%)
  • Killed: 100 million (5%)
  • Targeted: 20-40y/o

~ 120 days (30 x 4) to potentially infect half the world!

They had NO idea where it came from or any treatments other than isolation. 

Viral Influenza – Seasonal Flu (A,B,C,D)

  • R0: 1.3 (0.9-2.1)
  • 10 cycles = 14
  • 15 cycles = 51
  • 20 cycles = 190
  • 25 cycles = 705
  • 30 cycles = 2,620
  • 60 cycles = 6.8 billion
  • Mean SI: 2 (1-4) days
  • World Population (2019): ~8 billion
  • Annual Infected: ~500 million
  • Annual Serious: ~5 million
  • Annual Deaths: ~500,000
  • Targets: Young, Old, Pregnant, Compromised

~ 120 days (60 x 2) to potentially infect an unprotected world.

But we now have treatments, vaccines AND isolation to slow the spread and deaths. 

COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2)

  • R0: 2.5 (1.4 – 3.9)
  • 10 cycles = 9537
  • 15 cycles = 931,000
  • 20 cycles = 91 million
  • 25 cycles = 8.88 billion
  • Mean SI:  5.5 (3-14) days (WHO)
  • World Population (2019): ~8 billion
  • Infected: ~1 million (so far)
  • Killed: ~100,000 (so far)
  • Targets: Everyone! (Especially Health Compromised)

This means COVID-19 could take only 137 days (25 x 5.5 ) to potentially infect a completely unprotected world!

We currently have NO treatments and vaccines (isolation and distancing) to slow the spread and deaths.

Ponder the horrific outcome if we keep in close contact with others and do NOT isolate… 

Glenn Bolton

This is why we have ALL (no exceptions) been asked to #StayAtHome and/or #KeepYourDistance from others.

Simply to force the R0 to less than 1 so COVID-19 has a chance to die out. 

But that takes time. And it will be a serious struggle. 

Financially. Mentally. Emotionally. 

There is no other option at this stage, without a treatment or vaccine. (6-18 months off)

We ALL have to do our bit to slow and defeat this. 

It’s not just about you. It’s about EVERYONE. Your family, friends, workmates, community, state, county. 

The entire human population is susceptible or communicable. 

If we do not physically isolate from others then it will keep spreading and billions will get infected. And many millions will die. 

And the world’s economies will crash (even deeper) 

Now do you get it?

“Think Different”

Apple/Steve Jobs 

Innovation comes from desperation and necessity. It’s time to do things differently. 

Learn to work from home. Use the modern technology given to us by the smarter ones. 

Telecommute. Utilise Telehealth.

Build a home business and stay home with (and homeschool) your kids. 

Life and the world has changed.
Forever.
Get used to it. 

Glenn Bolton
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