April 8, 2020

COVID-19. Read. Understand. React.

by Tania du Plooy in General, Insights, News

COVID-19. Read. Understand. React.

By Emile Biagio, Sintrex CTO

If you have a look at the average global statistics, as cited on Worldometer, 5% of those who contract COVID-19 will die. In South Africa’s context, that is about 3 million people (assuming everyone gets infected).

The probability of that being you in SA is probably very low… But it is an average. There are better statistics to review – and then there’s the worst case.

Like Italy’s death rate: 12% of those contracted might die.

Then there are other statistics to look at, like the outcome-based cases. In other words, cases that have been closed – either people who have recovered or who have died.

For Italy, that statistic sits at 42%… If we apply that statistic to just half our population, 11.5 million people will die. This is both alarming and sad.

What’s the point of this article? It’s like every other statistic that has ever been published. Know what you’re looking at, look at the best case and look at the worst case – but make sure you know what you’re looking at.

Understand the influences of the statistics, understand why things may be better or worse in certain circumstances and try to use that information to contextualise in your own environment.

What would another country’s statistics look like in SA? Do we have better or worse medical care? Do we have an older or younger population? Did we react quickly enough to flatten the curve? Does our population follow the rules? What other pre-existing conditions might influence the impact?

If you take a subset of the statics and apply them to your own life, how does it impact your inner circle?

If you are the average family, with the average two-and-a-half children and elderly parents, you could rest assured that you’re fairly young and that the virus does not really affect our younger population, so your kids should also be fine.

However, what if your child infects one of your parents – or what if one of your kids have a pre-existing condition? How comfortable are you with the statistics now?

If we apply the ‘elderly’ subset of the Italian statistics to our elderly population, then the outcome looks horrific. Yes, not worse than the common flu over time – but influenza does not spread like this and usually the medical resources are able to treat a trickle feed of flu patients. That’s the difference: rate of infection.

I work for a company that spews out statistics like they are free. It’s generally all useful but our biggest task is usually to educate people on what they are actually seeing and to react to make the necessary changes.

Every individual needs to review and understand the statistics to make an educated decision on how they intend to react but please – don’t look at averages alone!

Crunch the numbers and in your own context: Read. Understand. React.

Source: Coronavirus – Worldometer https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus

(Note: All COVID-19 statistics cited in this article have been collected from Worldometer and were accurate at the time of writing.)

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