Tag: Flu Season

The Logic of Forever COVID


With summer turning to autumn, the local paper of ill repute is warning of a “twindemic”:

The one thing [epidemiologists] fear is the possibility that the flu could spiral out of control this winter and if COVID does the same, doctors could be dealing with a “twindemic.” A twindemic is a situation where there are two pandemics or epidemics going on at the same time, such as the flu and COVID-19.

More Fevered Calculations: Working the Coronavirus Numbers


In all the hype and happy talk around the latest coronavirus to cross over to humans, keep an eye on this number in America: 498,000. That is the number of people this novel coronavirus will have to infect to cause as many deaths as the annual, seasonal flu. I tried to make sense of the numbers around notorious coronavirus, a.k.a. COVID-19, in a post about a week ago now.

I now note that the presidential proclamation, suspending travel from certain countries, referred to COVID-19 as “SARS-CoV-2.” The CDC page explains the reason for the changing names. This prompted another look at the numbers, with this math-challenged scribbler doing a bit of stubby pencil, back-of-the-envelope figuring. Check my math as I work through the numbers; hopefully it is better than Ma and Pa Kettle’s.

SARS last time had an 9-10% mortality rate. It was nothing like influenza, including the worse known version in 1918-19, because the number of people who actually contracted SARS was so much lower than the number of people who get the flu globally every year. Think about it: if the flu regularly kills 1 in 1000 infected, and SARS killed 1 in 10, then you can see that SARS would have to infect 1/100 the number of flu victims to reach the same death count.

Basic Protection in a Respiratory Epidemic


The novel coronavirus infection that started in China is now making its way around the world. There is no need to panic. Hopefully, our public health measures will contain the spread within the US to make it at best a minor issue. Personally, I think it would be prudent to halt travel to and from China at this point, or at least insist on a strict quarantine for anyone arriving from China.

However, what if it does get a major toehold in the US and you need to take action? What can you do to protect yourself and your family?

Member Post


Feeling sick today, knocked off work a couple of hours early. It’s icy here in Nashville today so I worked from home, avoiding the traffic insanity that follows behind every winter weather episode in our neck of the woods. My commute back to bed was about eight steps. Lucky me. Took a nap that wasn’t […]

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