The Great Toilet Paper Shortage

I went shopping at the local big chain grocery store this morning and lo and behold, they had TOILET PAPER!

Why people are hoarding TOILET PAPER is a bit a mystery to me.

I do have to say, I did feel the urge to pick up a package even though I don’t need any. The herd mentality in myself was thinking, “I should buy it because everyone else is buying and hoarding it“. Then I thought, “Why do I want to buy something I don’t need?

As I walked on past the TOILET PAPER, I hesitated and took a glance back, but I got better and left the butt wipers on the shelf.

Meaningless Numbers

With the Chinese Virus pandemic raging around the world, the media reports minute by minute the number of cases and the number of deaths.

These numbers sound alarming but they are meaningless.

I’ve discussed this with a friend of mine and we both observed that the number of cases increases in proportion to the the number of tests for the virus. This is because they are limiting testing to people who present with SYMPTOMS of the virus. What does this mean? People who have SYMPTOMS of the virus will probably test positive for the virus. The good news from the meaningless numbers is that the number of deaths is dropping in percentage to the number of those infected. The mortality rate as of 4pm on 3/25/202 was 1.35%.

Okay so back to the meaningless part of the numbers. If the number of cases tracks with number of tests (which is an OBVIOUS result) cases EXPONENTIALLY GROW because the testing is EXPONENTIALLY INCREASING (once again OBVIOUSLY). The problem is that the news and many politicians are basing their predictions of DISASTER on this rate of increasing cases. If you work with the meaningless numbers in this manner you will end up with PREDICTED numbers that are RIDICULOUSLY TOO HIGH.

Another problem with the media numbers is that we have no idea how many people may or may not be infected who are ASYMPTOMATIC. There may be a huge well of the virus in the general population with ASYMPTOMATIC individuals. At this point we have no idea if this is the case because we are NOT testing ASYMPTOMIC people AT ALL.

WITHOUT the numbers for ASYMPTOMATIC people we have NO IDEA HOW CONTAGIOUS this disease is.  We also don’t know the best measures to take to prevent the SPREAD

WITHOUT all the numbers we have NO IDEA what the MORTALITY RATE is.

Yet another number that is missing is HOW MANY people who test positive REQUIRE HOSPITALIZATION? For the NUMBERS to have any MEANING we need to know how many people have mild or even severe symptoms but do not require hospitalization and recover at home.

With those that REQUIRE HOSPITALIZATION HOW MANY REQUIRE LIFE SUPPORT? I keep hearing about the shortage of VENTILATORS yet no one is showing a case of WHY this is a problem. On top of that IF we actually need the TENS OF THOUSANDS of VENTILATORS we DON’T have enough medical personnel to run all of the machines. I haven’t heard anyone screaming about that fact, only that there aren’t enough machines.

The other term that keeps getting thrown around is “Flattening the curve“. In and of itself that is not a bad idea because of limited medical resources. Interestingly what the term IMPLIES is that the SAME number of people WILL DIE no matter what measures we take. We’re just spreading the DEATHS out over time.