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Post Covid Update: US and China Compared; on Herd Immunity
Created by John Eipper on 04/27/21 3:44 AM

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Covid Update: US and China Compared; on Herd Immunity (Paul Pitlick, USA, 04/27/21 3:44 am)

Recently in a WAIS comment, John mentioned a phone conversation we had. Enclosed are 2 graphs of Cases (C - top) and Deaths (D - bottom) of COVID, going back to the beginning. The lines are 7-day averages. The curves are so different that they had to be displayed on a log scale. Thus each horizontal line is 10 times the line below it. The top line is the US, 2nd is California, 3rd is Santa Clara County, and the 4th line is China. So, California has about 10% of the US cases, Santa Clara County has about 10% of California's, and all of China has about 1/10th of Santa Clara County's.

These are raw numbers; if you normalized per population, China has almost 1000 times the population of Santa Clara County and the numbers would be truly stark. I'm sure people will say "But--you can't trust China!" I won't argue with that, but are they really under-reporting by a factor of 1000?

I also heard a good talk Wednesday, about "Herd Immunity," which is available on-line. The first six minutes are about local COVID numbers, of limited interest to most of you. The speaker basically feels it is an overrated concept for this epidemic (43:03, 45:08), a beginning, not an end-point. For example, we eliminated measles for a long time, but now it's back (22:52). "Herd-immunity" isn't a "silver bullet."


In summary, while one can argue that China's approach was "draconian," the US has been just plain stupid. There must be some happy mid-point.

JE comments:  Paul, thank you.  Who would have thought the Covid Era would enter a second summer?  Speaking about my home turf, Michigan has achieved the dubious status of "leading" the nation in new cases, especially among the young.  See this NYT article from April 21st.  Beaumont Hospital is one mile from WAIS HQ, Royal Oak:


I've spoken with many "anti-vaxxers" of all ages, from students to elderly neighbors.  Bizarre thinking, but I cannot imagine it's limited to Michigan.  I'm relieved to report that Aldona and I got our second Pfizer doses last week.

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