Articles to 2020-03-18

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First the link to this week's complete list as HTML and as PDF.


There are several articles about Covid-19 this week. As far as I can tell, it is the undisputed consensus that the current wave will only end, when a large part of the whole population has been infected and immunized. What nobody wants to say is what that means. Using more conservative numbers than any I have seen

I arrive at 3 million people sick at the same time in Germany, albeit hopefully many with no or very weak symptoms. A more realistic number for the peak is 10 million. The expected fraction of serious and hospitalized cases is hard to estimate as is the rate of fatal outcomes. The expected time for this peak is after another 10 doublings occurring roughly every 3–5 days, so probably some time in May. (This last guess is not from the numbers above.)

So what shape shall we be in to deal with that sort of crisis in two months time? I'd say it can only be made worse by the large number of bankruptcies, collapses and breakdowns we are already beginning to see all over the economy at only 10 000 recognized cases for all of Germany. We ought to do everything to become stronger for when it's most needed and we are doing just the opposite.


Quite apart from there being absolutely nothing about Ibuprofen in Fang et al., for which they are the only cited source, the whole letter is a piece of total nonsense and should have been flagged as such by the Lancet. From what I could find, the prevalence of hypertension among the older age groups from 65 a onwards is at least 70 % of whom between 25 and 45 % are being treated for it. So what does it tell us when Fang et al. find between 20 and 30 % hypertensives among the fatal outcomes? Most certainly not that hypertension is an extra risk factor raising the fatality rate, as they claim. If anything that incidence of hypertension is lower than for the base population. You would be more justified – although of course just as nonsensical – in claiming it to be a protective factor for the older population.

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