The growth rate of deaths from coronavirus in the U.S. is flattening. I have been posting weekly US death rates. We can now officially put to rest comparisons of death rates due to COVID-19 versus influenza versus heart disease, etc. Coronavirus is killing more Americans than the flu, heart disease or any other disease and the corona death rate is still growing. But, the rate of growth is slowing.
On an average week in April, 12,626 people die of heart disease in America, which has been the leading cause of death in America. As of today, 15,031 people died of coronavirus in America in the last 7 days. Coronavirus is increasing the overall death rate from all causes and the rate is still increasing, but the rate of growth of the rate (the 2nd derivative) is slowing. On April 3, the 7 day weekly growth rate versus the previous week was 620%, compared to the 40% growth rate this week versus last week.
Here are 2 pieces of evidence that lockdowns work or save lives. It was/is overly draconian and unconstitutional in implementation and indeed could have been done otherwise and better by trusting citizens, but it does work.
(1) This disease, unlike the recent epidemics, has a high percentage of human-to-human airborne transmission from patients with no symptoms. That is especially dangerous. It could be thought of as the silent killer. Some older people with no other causes have died in one day. New York City is a perfect example of the disaster that results from that. About half (21,291/52,185) of the corona virus deaths in the U.S. have been in New York, almost all in New York City. Reasonable people should ask, the state and the city that should have reacted first and firmly, were very slow. Why? New Jersey is in second place with 5,617 deaths, only one fourth as many as New York.
(2) Vietnam is an example of lockdown isolation and quarantine working very well. There have been no deaths and only a few hundred coronavirus cases in a country of 97 million with a porous border with China. Vietnam’s severe lockdown and quaratine was probably more severe than could be accomplished in western countries, but nevertheless, the evidence is instructive. Vietnam has been very severe in isolating infected individuals and families and tracking backwards to determine the origin of the case.
A preliminary scientific publication reports that the coronavirus has already mutated at least 30 times. A high rate of mutation complicates the use of any potential vaccine. Typically flu mutates 8 to 10 times faster than corona, which means in many cases flu vaccines are ineffective before they are available, and it comes back every year; essentially the vaccine was developed for a virus that has been out-competed by a new set of mutations. Keep a close watch on the rate of mutation of this corona virus.