Furthest Right

How We Beat Wuhan Wipeout

It’s been a couple of years at least since I’ve believed in the unambiguous good of Amerika. OD on The Black Pills and it’s over for your Tolkienesque Fairyland visions of The Old Red, White and Azul. That being stipulated, it’s undeniably true that our ambiguous good can still kick some pretty serious can. This is happening now, even as we react to the potential disaster that is the WuhanWipeout Epidemic.

I say potential disaster, because it could still become one. I also say potential because the more I turn a gimlet eye on the emerging data, the less I believe we’ve met our Sweet Micro-Organism of Death just yet. Let’s begin by examining how our medical profession perceived the obvious threat that was incoming with this disease.

Inititally Turkey Lurky, MD told Chickyn Lickyn, MD, PhD. “The Sky is falling!” And Turkey Lurky had !SCIENCE! to prove it.

The latest global death rate for the novel coronavirus is 3.4 percent – higher than earlier figures of about 2 percent. The coronavirus outbreak that originated in Wuhan, China, has killed more than 3,100 people and infected nearly 93,000 as of Tuesday. The virus causes a disease known as COVID-19.

Then a funny thing happened on the way to The Treblinka Train. It was previously ascertained that different nations had different abilities to cope with this mess dependent upon their inherent characteristics as separate national entities. Johns Hopkins University wrote this up, got paid lots of money, and wound up arguing that Amerika would actually come out better on the other side of this mess than the rest of the world. The question then becomes, could Amerika manifest this theoretical superiority in the face of a come-as-you-are National IQ Test.

Remarkable claims require pretty strong evidence or they rapidly smell like the stuff that comes out of the wrong end of the bull. American Exceptionalism is only a believable hypothesis when America actually does something exceptional. Mike Ford of has done a remarkable job of tracking the ravages of WuhanWipeout on his very own excel spreadsheet. I’ll refer to his work hereafter as the Mike Ford Data Set.

Why is this such good news, because Ford’s data is suggesting that smart Amerikan doctors are doing what smart people do and learning a thing or two from unpleasant, challenging experience. You see, back before WW II there was a pretty smart engineer named Theodore P. Wright. He worked for an aircraft manufacturer. He looked over some data and mathematically codified some pretty basic common sense. “Practice more, suck less” could be the theoretical gravamen of what we refer to today as a learning curve.

Using Mr. Ford’s data, I apply two common theories of learning to the data set. I generate algebraic lot mid-points (LMPs) based on the daily count of cumulative infections. Using these LMPs, two methods of learning curve calculation can be trained upon the target. An optimistic case can be generated using Mr. Ford’s daily cumulative mortality as a lot average cost. A realistic case can be generated taking the cumulative average of the mortality rates. These two curves can be seen graphically below.

The “guts” so-to-speak of any Learning Curve consist of two parameters. These are the Theoretical T1 and The Learning Curve Slope. For the Optimistic Case (see bottom curve on chart above), the T1 = 0.1813, and the Learning Curve Slope = 77%. The T1, representing a mortality rate of 18%, looks like something out of a cheesy zombie apocolypse. The key to why this case is optimistic is in the curve slope. 77% learning means that each time the number of patients treated doubles, that patient is only 77% as likely to die as the patient seen N/2 cases ago.

For reference, this slope is way better than what The Boeing Company achieved building helicopters. It’s probably about what you could expect from Tom Brady or Peyton Manning when the coaches installed an NFL Offense during pre-season training camp. This is an optimistic case because the LC SLope is commensurate with what the best could achieve under conducive conditions.

The Pragmatic Case has a theoretical T1 = 0.1291. The T1 = 13% is about what you’d expect from Bronchitis becoming Pneumonia in an elderly person. Not good, but about what you’d expect from sad experience. The Learning Curve Slope = 87%. This is commensurate with what you would get from a reputable manufacturer, leaning out a well-understood process, in a reasonably well-designed industrial plant.

With this theory in tow, we can now set out three scenarios for the total number of people killed by #WuhanWipeout in the United States. Using infection total scenarios of {5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, 25%} we can now estimate the good, the bad and the ugly. The current US Population can be swagged at 328M. The worst case involving the WHO scare mortality rate, is the one I first ran my last post on WuhanWipeout Math.

To get a comparable juxtaposition, I calulate mortality rates by patient number on my two Learning Curve scenarios. Multiplying these mortality rates by the number infected, generates casualty estimates for each of the five infection rate scenarios below.

So, in conclusion, this is bad, but we aren’t done. Amerika will fare far better than others in combating the WuhanWipeout. To put it quite brutally, this is because, despite our rate of national decline, we remain better than others. Amerika will suffer, but Amerika will ultimately beat this illness like a gubbermint mule. Carry on, and be optimistic. Victory is coming. You will get your life back. In the meanwhile, here’s some music to fear the plague to…

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