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Odds of Dying From COVID Lower than odds of dying while driving to work

Video Transcript

00:00
this study aimed to generate an estimate
00:03
of how many people in Santa Clara County
00:06
have been infected with a virus and the
00:09
way to find out is to try to see whether
00:11
they have developed antibodies to SARS
00:14
cough – we realize that the number of
00:18
infected people is somewhere between 50
00:21
and 85 times more compared to what we
00:26
thought compared to what had been
00:27
documented immediately that means that
00:30
the infection fatality rate the chance
00:34
of dying the probability of dying if you
00:37
are infected diminishes by fifty to
00:41
eighty five fold because the denominator
00:44
in the calculation becomes fifty to
00:46
eighty five fold bigger if you take
00:49
these numbers into account they suggest
00:52
that the infection fatality rate for
00:55
this new corona virus is likely to be in
00:58
the same ballpark as seasonal influenza
01:00
of course there is still a little bit of
01:03
uncertainty about the exact number but
01:06
it’s clearly very different compared to
01:09
the original thoughts or speculations or
01:13
preliminary data that suggested a much
01:15
much higher infection fatality rate we
01:18
also try to estimate what is the
01:22
absolute risk if you’re less than 65 and
01:25
we try to compare that against the risk
01:29
of dying if you drive your car over a
01:31
given distance in doing this we try to
01:34
correct for the number of days that the
01:36
pandemic is ongoing so you can get an
01:39
estimate per day in many locations like
01:42
Germany the risk of dying from corona
01:46
virus until when we did the analysis on
01:49
April 4 is in the range of the risk of
01:52
dying driving from home to work or or
01:55
even less if you think that covered 19
02:00
has pretty much the same infection
02:04
fatality rate as let’s say seasonal
02:07
influenza one immediately would argue
02:10
well do we really see this type of
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as we have seen in some epicenters of
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the pandemic like some cities in Italy
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some cities in Spain and several
02:21
locations in the u.s. prominently New
02:24
York City and the New York metropolitan
02:26
area and the answer is that for
02:29
coronavirus we don’t have a vaccine so
02:31
hospitals that are very close to
02:33
capacity like queens for example that
02:36
tends to be a war zone even in
02:38
summertime if you get a very large
02:40
number of people who come to the
02:42
hospital with symptoms they show up at
02:44
the emergency room they wait to be seen
02:48
probably they start infecting each other
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they can infect physicians they can
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infect nurses they can infect personnel
02:56
this means that the the battle moves in
02:59
the most unsuitable battleground
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hospitals are the worst place to to
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fight the war with covered 19 we should
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have done our best to keep people away
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from the hospital if they had covered 19
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symptoms unless they really had very
03:16
severe symptoms and in which case of
03:18
course they needed medical care so it is
03:21
a serious problem no one would deny that
03:23
but it’s clearly not the apocalyptic
03:27
problem that we thought we would face
03:30
early on we have data now that the
03:33
infection fatality rate is much much
03:35
lower compared to our original
03:38
expectations and fears I think that
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there’s no reason to fear we have data
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we have ongoing accumulation of data we
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have eyes on the epidemic and its
03:48
evolution we can be of we should avoid
03:53
panic and and we can take rational steps
03:55
to to deal with the situation and then
03:58
hopefully even open up our society again
04:01
with careful gradual steps Sweden was
04:05
one of the countries that chose a less
04:08
restrictive approach it kept a much of
04:12
its society and of its economy open it
04:14
allowed most schools kindergarten and
04:18
elementary school and middle school to
04:21
be open it kept most shops open and bars
04:25
and restaurant although with some
04:27
modest restrictions it also allowed
04:31
people to get together but not exceed a
04:34
limit of 50 people so in a way it is
04:37
very different compared to the draconian
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measures that were implemented with very
04:43
fierce lockdown measures in other
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countries in Europe and in many places
04:48
in the u.s. they have done fairly well
04:51
and of course it is very difficult to
04:55
compare one country against another
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because you expect to see large
04:58
diversity in infection rates and also in
05:02
death rates maybe you can compare Sweden
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against Switzerland for example that had
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very draconian measures very early on
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and the death rate per million
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population is slightly higher a bit
05:18
higher in Switzerland compared to to
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Sweden until now no evidence so far
05:24
though suggests that Sweden did
05:26
something wrong I think that they seem
05:29
to have fared pretty well they had a
05:32
number of deaths the number of person
05:35
years lost was pretty small because
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almost all of these deaths were in
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people who were very frail and old and
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had very limited life expectancy they
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never came close to seeing their health
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system crash they always had plenty
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plenty of reserves at least until now
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that might change in the future and I’m
05:53
watching that very carefully but I don’t
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think that we can blame the Swedes for
05:58
doing what they did maybe we should
05:59
congratulate them I think that just
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saying that measures worked is is very
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very poor statement it’s it’s an
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overgeneralization and I think that we
06:11
need to scrutinize very carefully which
06:14
one of these measures worked which ones
06:16
did not work and which actually may have
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done some harm in principle I think that
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we should not blame anyone for just
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acting ferociously and aggressively and
06:27
saying shelter-in-place immediately we
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just don’t know what’s going on it was a
06:32
very sound approach but now we can be a
06:34
bit more thorough a bit more exact for
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example we know that suicides go up by
06:41
one
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percent for each 1% increase in
06:44
unemployment and as you know as of now
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we are talking about 25 million people
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filing for unemployment in this country
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and probably almost 10 times that many
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around the world becoming unemployed and
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the number is rapidly increasing as we
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speak we know that there’s huge problems
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with other problems of common diseases
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like cancer and heart attacks they can
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go up or actually the trajectories of
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decrees that we have seen for many of
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these conditions are reversed and
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they’re not decreasing at the same slope
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or actually even increase in situations
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of meltdown but I really worry that
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unless we manage to have a viable plan
07:30
to exit from lock down and shelter in
07:32
place and reopen our world the
07:35
consequences will be far worse than
07:37
coronavirus