Holman Jenkins explains in the WSJ: How we got here, where we are going, and how we confront coronavirus.
- The first case emerged in Wuhan on 17 November.
- China/World Health Organization did not acknowledged human-to-human transmission until 20 January.
- Wuhan exported between eight and 16 undetected cases to the U.S. through air travel, giving rise to 1,000 to 9,000 cases in the U.S. by 1 March.
- A global pandemic was likely unstoppable by 20 January.
- The Trump administration is guilty of testing stumbles. But unrealistic is the notion that enough testingcould have been made available to contain a novel flu-like virus once it was widely established.
- The lockdown cure will soon be worse than the disease, imposing social destruction beyond imagining.
The Death Rate:
- Experts have long suspected Covid-19 is more widespread than we know.
- The most up-to-date estimate by the Oxford Center for Evidence-Based Medicine suspects the death rate is a flu-like 0.1% to 0.39%.
- Expect the initial epidemic to burn itself out before a vaccine is available.
- Sweden is perhaps the most candid in anticipating wide infection of its populace.
- New Zealand, resolute in committing itself to a different path, intends to exterminate the virus domestically and then forbid or so strictly regulate foreign travel that the disease cannot re-enter until a vaccine is available.
Value Proposition and Government Response
- Low risk of death for a very large number of people has created a global crisis.
- Recovery of the most severely affected patients on ventilators is rare and involves a great deal of personal suffering.