Corona – my must-reads

This post is also available in: Deutsch (German)

Over the last weeks, I’ve collected a very small number of articles (six so far) everybody should read about Corona.


Editorial Summary

Western societies are unprepared for what’s coming, and they underestimate the severity of the crisis. Underestimation has two root causes:

  • The power of the exponential function is under-estimated
  • The progress of the epidemic is under-estimated because of under-reporting.

As of today, the epidemic should be considered unstoppable. The biggest variable is the extent to which health care services will become overwhelmed. This decides between a death rate of 5% and <1%.

To that end, slowing down the spread of the disease over time is essential: we may still see millions of cases in Germany (for example), but for the health system, it makes a huge difference if we spread a million cases over a month or two or over a year or two.

The most important means to slow down the spread of the disease is to AVOID CONTACT:

  • work from home if you possibly can
  • avoid gatherings, public transportation, crowded places

any infection you don’t get in contact with, you don’t have to wash off.

The single must-read article:

Essentially, facts, figures, maths, comparisons across regions, across time and across history to estimate the likely progress of the epidemic.

In a nutshell: LOCK DOWN NOW!

In countries that haven’t been hit by SARS a while ago, exponential growth is under-estimated and under-reporting is under-estimated.

Chances are that – despite the low percentage – the number of severe cases annihilates our health systems. Without proper treatment, death rates climb from <1% to ~5%.

If we manage to slow down the epidemic, it may save our health system from collaps which in turn saves lives.

I’ll validate the article as soon as I can.

China, Taiwan etc.:

East Asia has been hit hard by the SARS virus a while ago. They have learned from that, so when Covid-19 came around the corner, they cracked down hard on it.

Western societies should overcome their arrogance and learn from there.

China’s cases of Covid-19 are finally declining. A WHO expert explains why.

China’s aggressive measures have slowed the coronavirus. They may not work in other countries

Wie Taiwan den Covid-19-Ausbruch verhinderte – und die WHO davon nichts wissen will (German)

(About the situation in Taiwan – see next for an English language article)

What Taiwan can teach the world on fighting the coronavirus

Cryptic transmission of novel coronavirus revealed by genomic epidemiology

VERY hard read. But it contains a lot of fine details I haven’t seen elsewhere, like the statistical time between two infections, mutation rates etc.

Systems Thinking