As always, facts are made by figures. But figures are meaningful just in context. The more we relate figures to each other, the more meaningful they become. Here are the figures of COVID-19:
The first chart shows the total numbers worldwide. The countries and numbers are taken from the German News Network ntv:
As we can see, the United States are in the lead, by far. The US is followed by the big European countries Spain, Italy, Germany and France, which have already overtaken China.
This chart is not yet meaningful, because the sizes of the countries are rather different. If we relate the cases to the population of each country, the chart results as follows:
Now we see a completely different picture. Spain is first in front of Switzerland, which has already overtaken Italy. Germany and France are equally affected as the US. China is not affected at all.
Second we see, that Spain, Italy, France, the UK and the Netherlands have a very high death toll. In this scale the black bar is even higher than the violet one, meaning the death rate is higher than 10 percent of the infections (Scale: 1 million vs. 100.000).
But even the number of deaths is not meaningful unless we relate it to something.
The most common rate in epidemics is the Case Fatality Rate. This CFR relates the number of deaths to the number of infections:
We can see that the CFR is around 3 to 15 percent. It’s highest in France, then in Italy, the UK, the Netherlands and Spain (as we already saw in the bars).
Why is this? It is probably related to the ammount of Intensive Care Units ICU. This means, the more Intensive Care Beds, the better the chance to survive.
But there is another problem. First the number of infections is not yet known and depends on the ammount of tests. And second the result of infections is not yet clear, so that the CFR is not yet known.
So, there are two possible outcomes of COVID-19: Either you recover or you die. Some countries have already reported the numbers of recovered people, so that we can set a final relation: The dead related to the recovered. This is it:
And here we have the horrible result: In the US, Italy and France this shows more than 33 percent. In those countries only two of three infected could survive.
Let’s hope, these numbers will get better soon…
Stay at home, friends! And stay healthy!