Law in Contemporary Society

Some Links About Covid-9 Epidemiology

I did some refactoring and added a title, which is useful for any topic.

Here's a map created by CDC showing the distribution of confirmed coronavirus cases by country.

NYT live-updates on responses to the virus:

Look at all the extra information being leaked by that url. Everything after "coronavirus-news.html" is unnecessary for pointing the reader at the article. And rather than giving a link to the continuing updates, it is specific to March 12, which is almost certainly not what you want.

Johns Hopkins maintains a widely-used virus tracker.

A summary from March 10 of the state of affairs in the New Rochelle containment area just north of NYC.

Look here for a detailed analysis of the danger posed by Covid-19, as seen by a non-physician, non-epidemiologist who studies at Stanford Business School and is elated by having such a large readership.

Finally, if anyone here prefers podcasts, Marc Lipsitch has a great short interview (25 min) on the "Deep Background with Noah Feldman" podcast. Dr. Lipsitch is the head of Harvard's epidemiology lab, and is the originator of the "40-70% of the adult population will likely get coronavirus" statistic.

Can someone provide a summary of what those 25 minutes add to our knowledge?


40-70% of adult population will become infected. 1-2% will die, and people are in far more danger if over 65. There are many currently undetectable (and therefore undiagnosable) cases.

The virus will only begin declining after 40-50% of people become infected (and therefore millions die). We probably cannot delay the virus enough before a workable vaccine can be created.

Downstream consequences will be parade of horribles, including people being scared away from voting.


The transmission of viruses is similar to influenza, which we have numbers for. Lipsitch has used mathematical models to predict severity from the present state.

The models are created based on two factors (this is a serious oversimplification): (1) susceptible people interacting with infected people, and (2) infected people’s recovery rates. The models are based on an analogy to gas movement. Lipsitch use real data to add heterogeneity to the data.


There are two categories of intervention: (1) isolation of cases (which he says won’t work alone), and (2) population level interventions, such as cancelling gatherings, schools.

The Chinese have done (2) quite well, allowing people to only go move around in public spaces in limited ways. They use an electronic-payment food delivery system, for example. The second is better because there are people that are asymptomatic (and undiagnosable) that can infect others.


Accept the possibility of a very disruptive time. Get a 90 day supply of basic food/medication if you can. Visit for information on this. Demand better leadership from Trump and a more effective response.

-- AsherKalman - 13 Mar 2020



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r8 - 13 Mar 2020 - 14:52:10 - AsherKalman
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