A “close to worst case” scenario for corona-19 deaths over 5 years *IF* there is NO vaccine. - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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I'm not a doctor. I am well read for a layman though.

If a vaccine is never found for covid-19 then the cost benefits are drastically changed.

In this article I want to talk about the worst case or really close to the worst case. I estimate that there is between a 50% and a 90% chance that a vaccine for covid-19 will NOT be found in the next 5 years. This is my “close to worst case” that I want to talk about.

There are several other corona viruses that effect humans. IIRC, 3 cause strains of the “common cold”. There is no vaccine for any corona virus as of now. Some say we almost had one for SARS, but the research was dropped when SARS faded away.

The Bible is evidence that humans have a cultural memory of reoccurring pandemics. The book “Plagues and Peoples” talked about 2 or 3 waves of epidemics that hit the Roman Empire from 50 AD to 250 AD. This is more such evidence. We also have the case of the Native American die off when the Spanish introduced new germs into the Americas. From 1521 to 1590, 90% of the population around what is now Mexico City (i.e., the heart of the Aztec Empire) died. The Spanish new land owners saw almost all their Indian “peons/serfs” die from diseases. [Yes, the Spanish stole the land and enslaved the Indians.]

The human immune system has a range of variation like most traits. For any given germ, some people are pretty much immune (but maybe can still spread the germs around), some people will die if exposed to the germ, and most are between those 2 exteems. In the current covid-19 case it seems like about 40% are pretty much immune but some can spread the germs. It seems like about 5% will die if exposed to the germs. This leaves us with about 55% in the middle. These are rough estimates.

My close to worst case also assumes that the best treatment we find in the next 5 years only decreases the deaths and lingering disabilities by about 50%.

So, I'm assuming covid-19 will remain like the common cold is but will remain much more deadly.

From a layman's POV there are actually 2 sorts of herd immunity. The instant kind and the very slowly developing kind. All the current talk is about the instant herd immunity kind. The case of the Native Am. die off illustrates the slow developing kind. The Spanish had a sort of immunity to smallpox and other diseases. They got sick, but mostly didn't die. The Native Am. OTOH, mostly died. And many of the survivors had a Spanish father.
. . . IIRC, smallpox hit the Roman Empire in 180 AD and stayed in Europe until the 20th cent.. Over those 1800 years Europeans who died of it didn't reproduce and those who lived did reproduce. Gradually, everyone's immune system came to be good enough to keep you from dying but not good enough to keep you from being disfigured by the disease. The Native Am. mostly just died.

So, what will happen over the next 5 years with all the above assumptions taken as true? My predictions are ---
1] Almost everyone will get covid-19 at least once.
2] Some (40%?) will have very mild case and will be able to spread the germs.
3] Almost all the 5% who are likely to die if they get it will therefore die.
4] Most people will get it several to many times, but recover with no long lasting effects.
5] Maybe 5% to 10% (=8%?) will get it several times and will have life long disabilities as a result.

If the US has 330M people, then ---
5% X 330M X 50% = 8,000,000 = 8M Americans will die over the next 5 years.
8% X 330M X 50% = 13M will be disabled.
40% X 330M = 132M will have it like a common cold or be asymptomatic. And.
47% X 330M =155M will get it several times and be more sick than just a bad cold.

Please remember, this is a “close to worst case” scenario. It is also a very rough guess of the different percentages. They all can easily be plus 10 percentage points or minus 2 or 3 OR minus 10 percentage points.

So, what happens over the 10 years after the 1st 5 years? I think that the deaths and disabilities will have mostly stopped except for the very young. So, 46% of the people of America will have it like a common cold or be asymptomatic. And, about 54% of the people of America will get it several times a decade and be more sick than just a bad cold. The deaths among the very young will be less than 1% of the total population.

This situation will continue over the next hundreds of years, but getting gradually better over time.

It *all* changes IF a very effective vaccine that gives life-long immunity is found.

[Some nations (like Japan and South Korea) may avoid all this because they beat the virus quickly. America didn't and this is the unavoidable result *IF* a vaccine isn't found.]

Remember, I'm just a well informed layman. After 5 years we can see if I'm close to right.
I think the vaccine has been overhyped. There is good reason to overhype it, if the population believes that there is a solution coming soon, they will have higher confidence.
There are a few vaccine candidates out there, so I believe your estimate that we will never find a vaccine is certainly inaccurate. We cannot be certain that all of these vaccines will be efficacious and safe but we can have a high degree of confidence based on the preliminary and early studies data given the reported side effects and/or the induction of neutralizing antibodies.
As for your predicted mortality (i.e 8M) I believe this is a very high estimate. As of now, the mortality rate is about 3-4% rather than 5% but more importantly, you would expect this to decrease given that you expect those that are at higher risk to die first (thus early mortality rate should be higher) and as the people at risk die first the mortality rate of the reminder people lowers. This also ignores therapeutics and/or learning new techniques to improve the outcome of those infected. For instance, when the virus first hit in New York we were still primarily using hydroxychloroquine as a "rescue therapy" and now we know that it doesn't really help. On the other hand, we have found that steroids and anticoagulation does help and now we have remdesivir, etc. So I would not expect 8M to die anytime soon. This could happen if we can get re-infected and this becomes endemic/seasonal as people could get re-exposed and someone that did not die on the first go could die on the second or third but at this point, this would be speculative.

Coming back to the vaccines. Every year I have to deal in my hospital with "shortages" of flu vaccines at least for the first 2-3 months of the season. This is a vaccine for which there is already a pre-existing infrastructure, we expect every year, it gets produced every year and we still see manufacturing/distribution issues. I would certainly take with a grain of salt any sort of prediction that says that we could have a reasonable number of people getting the vaccine by next year or earlier.
To that, you have to add the already anti-vaxxer people, to that, you have to add the people that are not really anti-vaxxer but will take political issue just the same way that they are doing with masks, and then you have to add those that generally believe/accept vaccines but might be skeptical about this one in particular because of polarization and/or perception of being rushed for political motives.
Thank you for your mostly respectful reply.
I'll just point out that I said my estimates are likely off by 2 to 3 percentage points. So, starting from 5%, reducing that by 2% or 3% makes it a 3% to 2% death rate. So, about reduced from 8M down to 4M
Also, I allowed for a 50% reduction in deaths from the new treatments. So, the math was for 16M which I reduced down to the 8M, because of my assumed 50% reduction in deaths.
Also, I didn't predict that there would be *no* vaccine produced, I predicted that there would be no *effective* vaccine produced.
We shall see in 5 years.
Some other points ---
1] A vaccine that is not effective is just propaganda. You should decide if needing a booster very 4 months is 'effective'.
2] If there is no effective vaccine and covid-19 is (as I assumed) like the common cold in that any immunity is for months and not years, then a person who almost died can get it again and again over 5 years. Such a person seems more likely to die if they get it again than someone who hardy knew she was sick. Therefore, the death rate/1000s can go up from what is measured now. My 5% was spread over the 5 years and the rate measured now is over (less than) half a year.

I wonder how the public will react when it becomes apparent that the lockdown didn't save that many lives. Mostly just those who died because the hospitals were jammed. All those who were going to die from covid directly did die in those 5 years.
. . . That therefore, most of the economic dislocation and damage was useless. That if Trump had acted sooner and much better, then like Japan there might not have been a need for a lockdown at all. So, the nation would have had just the damage from the disease itself, which would have been large (but not the huge damage we got).
. . . That most of the economic damage could have been alleviated by the US Gov. paying the people, businesses and corps. damaged.
That MMT says that this would not cause inflation over 2%.
That the Repuds use MMT thinking when they give cash to the rich and corps., but they balk at using MMT thinking to give cash to the people.
I wonder how the people will feel about Repuds when they understand that.

[BTW -- in the news NOW is the Repuds are blocking the $600/week added to unemployment payments.
The solution is to make it $400/week and give everyone a check for $200/week X 4 weeks/mo = $800/month. For as long as the unemployed are getting the $400/week. But, the Repuds will not do this.]
Sorry but you are way out on mortality.

I suspect it's a confusion between CFR and IFR.

The current best estimates are 0.6-1% across wealthy countries.

A recent large study in Mumbai slums showed the death rate from covid in a young population who live mostly outdoors and are not overweight (all be it malnourished), is 0.1-0.2%.

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