America just held a nationwide IQ test. Did you notice it?
Everyone who has said about coronavirus that, “It’s just the flu,” failed the IQ test. As did those who claim discussing coronavirus is “spreading panic.”
They are engaging in what Scott Adams calls Loserthink. Read his book here.
Low probability of certain death = “Freakout” is Rational.
You will almost certainly not die from the coronavirus.
If the coronavirus contagion and death rates are accurate, between one and three million Americans could die.
When you have a low risk of a pandemic with a death count exceeding the total number of Americans who died in World War II, you take precautions.
Reasonable minds can differ as to what those precautions are.
But if you’re not thinking about coronavirus in terms of fat tail risk, you’re not even allowed to be part of the conversation.
- “Tail risk is the additional risk of an asset or portfolio of assets moving more than 3 standard deviations from its current price, above the risk of a normal distribution. … Tail risk is sometimes defined less strictly, as merely the risk (or probability) of rare events.”
You will almost certainly not die from the coronavirus. Do you buy some extra food / water?
Your car will almost certainly not be stolen. Do you lock it?
Your house will almost certainly never burn down in a fire. Do you have fire insurance?
Why it’s better to panic early: Nassim Nicholas Taleb & Yaneer Bar-Yam
“But 60,000 people die from the flu each year!”
Yes, and this is terrible.
I had no idea that seasonal flu deaths were that high. Did you? (Don’t lie. I bet you didn’t.)
Rather than use, “but 60,000 die from the flu,” as some sort of repudiation of coronavirus risk, isn’t the answer that we should care more about the flu.
You’re not checkmating anyone with that stat. You sound like an idiot. Or someone who is glib about human death.
If we as a society can prevent more people from dying of the flu, let’s have that conversation.
Math is hard.
Engineer Liz Specht did what engineers do – MATH!
Our hospitals aren’t prepared to handle the number of patients who catch coronavirus.
Here are some highlights:
- The US has about 2.8 hospital beds per 1000 people. With a population of 330M, this is ~1M beds. At any given time, 65% of those beds are already occupied. That leaves about 330k beds available nationwide (perhaps a bit fewer this time of year with regular flu season, etc). 7/n
- By this estimate, by about May 8th, all open hospital beds in the US will be filled. (This says nothing, of course, about whether these beds are suitable for isolation of patients with a highly infectious virus.) 9/n
- Importantly, I cannot stress this enough: even if I’m wrong – even VERY wrong – about core assumptions like % of severe cases or current case #, it only changes the timeline by days or weeks. This is how exponential growth in an immunologically naïve population works. 22/n
Ms. Specht assumes a closed system, so her numbers are likely on the high side.
But she is also creating a starting point of how to think about the coronavirus.
“It’s just the flu, bro,” is f-cking moronic. Shut the f-ck up. You don’t know anything.
Any rational discussion of coronavirus looks at the worst-case numbers / secondary effects of millions of sick Americans.
And then you start using an OODA loop / find ways to open the system.
1. Observation. How many cases of coronavirus are there? Where are these cases originating? Who Is getting sick? How many are dying?
2. Orientation. Are the number of cases of coronavirus increasing? Then what? Are they increasing? Now what?
3. Decision making. Make a rational decision based on what you’re observation and how you’re orientating yourself based on these observations.
4. Action. This is where leadership matters.
Solutions to a Coronavirus Crisis.
We need “right to try” laws.
Can't bottleneck things through federal government any more. Need emergency expansion of right-to-try laws.
"I'm awaiting 'permission' from the federal government to allow for my testing…I am appalled at the level of bureaucracy that's preventing nurses from getting tested." https://t.co/ZOiegXIMZ6
— balajis.com (@balajis) March 6, 2020
We need virtual doctor visits.
— Cerno (@Cernovich) March 7, 2020
We need some form of “doctors lite.”
You don’t need an MD and $500,000 in medical school debt along with 4 years of a residency to treat patients with coronavirus.
We must IMMEDIATELY begin desperate mass program to train people who can treat #COVID19 patients who need an ICU, but using less than full ICU tools & resources. We must accept: resulting skills WILL be less than needed to satisfy current professional licensing standards.
— Robin Hanson (@robinhanson) March 6, 2020
We need vision and leadership.
If your contribution to the coronavirus discussion is some form of “It’s only flu,” please go away. You’re not helping.
Let the adults figure out what to do next.
And please don’t rely on media outlets to understand the math.
All of the news you watch is this inaccurate, you only see the errors because mathematical ones are falsifiable. https://t.co/0j1wsXWRVS
— Cerno (@Cernovich) March 6, 2020