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Current Perspective on COVID-19 Coronavirus (from someone else)

I'm copying the following from a post by someone else - a fellow named Rex, on a mailing list named Twister - because Rex is one of those rare people who basically is always sensible and informative when he speaks - always worth listening - and I'm hungry for some clear perspective on COVID-19, and think others might appreciate it, too. And, selfishly, have an easy place to find it for my own future reference.

To not get too carried away, though the guy is smart he's does not omniscient, and things might develop differently than he expects. I find this helps me get a sense of proportion on what is currently known, but not more than that.

Ken

March 3, Rex:


It's a virus which hopped from animals to people.  Happens now and then.Kinda flu-like symptoms, but greater severity, especially for older orunwell people.  There have been influenza strains that are approximately asbad, but not for a long time.  (The H1N1 outbreak of 1918 probably hadslightly lower mortality rates, but it may have had higher infectiousness,so overall impact may be similar--too early to tell, really.) 
Because of the severity, a lot of countries will put forth quite a lot ofeffort to try to contain the virus, but this will ultimately not besuccessful because the poorer countries can't afford effectiveprecautions.  It also seems doubtful that a vaccine will be ready beforeapproximately everyone has caught it, despite the efforts of wealthycountries to stop and/or slow the spread. 
Most people will be fine, and the health care systems will be strainedseverely but are unlikely to break entirely.  It may be the leading causeof mortality for one year.  (Upwards of 10% for 80+-year olds.)  It maycontribute to a recession, which is kind of overdue anyway.
I don't know enough virology to hazard a guess as to the efficacy of avaccine once available. 
It's also a good litmus test for which countries have authoritariantendencies--if they get into worse trouble because they try to manage PRbefore managing the virus, that's good evidence. 
  --Rex

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