I find myself obsessing over numbers and graphs, as the cases continue to mount. As an engineer, it fascinates me. As a free man, and as one who wishes to remain free, I have become quite focused on the concept of the Case Fatality Rate, or CFR.
It’s a simple calculation, this CFR. It’s the number of deaths divided by the total number of infected, over a particular time period. In the case of historical CFR’s, that time period is the entire time of the particular outbreak. Of course, that makes for the most accurate number, waiting until an outbreak is over to compute it. Some even think that because of that, using the CFR calculation is so inherently inaccurate that an alternate “estimate” of the CFR value be computed. This estimation is to add the deaths to the recoveries, and divide the deaths by that sum.
I have a serious problem with that. It leaves all of the outstanding, so-called “unresolved” cases. That is, those cases that have neither recovered or died. How is it justified to ignore data that absolutely does exist? The excuse made is that the data is indeterminate, but, really, early on ALL he data is essentially indeterminate. So how does inaccurately handling the real data like this bring more accuracy to the results of a calculation?
Obviously, this is driving me crazy. And of course, the estimated number always comes out higher early on, as a huge majority of total cases aren’t accounted for. People are scaring themselves very badly due to this, and seem willing to cheer on increasingly draconian measures from the governments of the world to try to fight the outbreak. I hope for sanity to emerge soon.
USA’s CFR has been calculated and graphed here, and it’s fascinating, or so I find it. Currently, the CFR in America is 1.6 percent, and trending down. Other numbers for the worldwide Coronavirus epidemic can be found here. As of this moment, the calculated CFR for our planet is 4.1% which is obviously not good. However, it too is decreasing with each day. Food for thought.