Over 159 million could die from COVID-19 | The Jackal

26 Jun 2020

Over 159 million could die from COVID-19

We all know that the COVID-19 virus is a terrible infectious disease that has already caused untold misery and numerous deaths around the world. Nearly half a million people have already died, and those are just the cases we know about.

But how bad could things actually get?

Today, the NZ Herald reported (pay-walled):

Rod Jackson: Bungled Covid-19 isolation is the best news since NZ came out of lockdown 

I backed the Government’s strict lockdown and cautious reopening strategy and cringed every time I heard criticism of the approach. 
After 40 years in public health, I know that our greatest successes are invisible – nothing happens – and that most New Zealanders were unaware of the health catastrophe we averted by our restrictive Covid elimination strategy. 
We are one of few countries where you can go out and enjoy yourself in the company of thousands, without fear of catching a disease that will kill one of 100 people within four weeks of being infected.

So one person dies within four weeks of catching COVID-19 for every 100 cases. However the actual death rate for those infected works out to be 5.1%. That's current COVID-19 related deaths (484K) as a percentage of total cases (9.49M).

This estimate could also be on the low side. That’s because it’s difficult to gauge just how stupid certain administrations will become in the face of economic disaster. Many countries are opening up their economies and even encouraging travel while their infection and death rates continue to increase. We’re also seeing a lack of proper PPE and social distancing measures in places like the UK and US, two nations that are being absolutely hammered by the virus.

So how many people exactly are likely to get infected with COVID-19?

In February, Newshub Reported:

Coronavirus could infect 40 percent of world's population over one to two years - Kiwi expert 

An infectious diseases specialist says coronavirus could infect up to 40 percent of the world's population in the next couple of years. 
Professor Michael Baker, from the Otago University Department of Public Health, says it will likely infect billions. 
"This pandemic infection has had a trajectory now for three or four weeks that looks like it will infect perhaps 40 percent of the world's population over the next one to two years."

There are 7.8 billion people currently walking the face of the Earth, so 40% works out to be 3.12 billion. Also keep in mind that the trajectory of new COVID-19 cases back in February was considerably lower than current figures.

Now I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but a 5.1% death rate from COVID-19 for 40% of the world's population works out to be a calamitous toll of 159 million estimated deaths, just within the first two years. That means COVID-19 is on track to being one of, if not the worst, epidemic the world has ever seen.

Clearly anybody downplaying the seriousness of this virus needs their heads read.