Modelling the Coming Coronavirus Tsunami: Imperial College Paper // Mar 18, 2020
This new paper from Imperial College models the expected number of cases of coronavirus and the total number of deaths that we would expect in both the UK (Great Britain) and in the USA.
The modelling starts with a worst case scenario of no interventions, and projects total deaths of 510,000 in the UK (peaking early June) and 2.2 million in the USA (peaking late June) with a caveat: these are direct deaths, not accounting for spillover effects to other critical care patients without the virus).
It then models the effects of so-called Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) to shift the curve to a later date, and lower the peak. These include shutting schools and universities, social distancing, self-isolation, quarantines, to shutting cities and countries.
Ref: ‘Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce COVID19 mortality and healthcare demand‘. 16 March 2020, Link to 20 page article, here. here.
Will the Coronavirus Pandemic Weaken in the Northern Hemisphere as we move into Summer? // Mar 17, 2020
I discuss a new scientific paper that examines the present coronavirus spread and shows correlations of the hardest hit regions to temperature and humidity changes with latitude. This is only one paper, but it seems to indicate that the hardest hit regions are within an average temperature band from 5C to 11C, with low specific humidity (3-6 g/kg) and absolute humidity (4-7 g/cm3). If this is confirmed in subsequent scientific studies then it could indicate that Covid-19 is a seasonal respiratory virus. Promising (since it would slow down in summer); but too early to tell for sure at the moment.
History of Pandemics; Will Covid-19 Slow Down in Summer? // Mar 17, 2020
Throughout human history, as we spread across the world we have had infectious diseases as a constant companion. Outbreaks continue to happen, even more frequently in our modern era.
First, I discuss a timeline over the last 2000 years and chat about some of histories most deadly pandemics, including the biggies such as Black Death (Bubonic Plague); with 200 million dead (30-50% of Europe); smallpox killing 90% of Native Americans, and the Spanish flu.
Next I discuss what we know about seasonal cycles of many infectious diseases, and then some recent papers considering whether Covid-19 may be seasonal, perhaps weakening as we head to Northern Hemisphere summer.
As usual, in very, very good company:
Additional recent, videos:
A few more, for good measure:
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