OK, I was a math and computer science major back in the day, so I tend to look at numbers, especially as they relate to drawing conclusions based on statistics.
So here are the latest numbers from NPR:
(source here https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/03/16/816707182/map-tracking-the-spread-of-the-coronavirus-in-the-u-s
6353 confirmed cases, 108 deaths, for a death rate of about
1.7%, which at first glance is much higher than the flu (which has killed 18,000 people so far this year)
But modelling of disease transmission (see https://www.geekwire.com/2020/scientists-find-86-percent-coronavirus-infections-go-unreported/
) estimates that 86% of cases go undetected because they are mild.
So that means that in the United States there are likely many more infections than have been reported. If the 86% number is correct, the actual number of infections is approximately:
6353/.14 = 45,380
so the death rate would be:
108/45,380 = .0024, so .24%, which is not much worse than the seasonal flu.
I personally agree with the steps being taken at the moment because the uncertainty is high, however we need to be willing to adjust our response as new concrete facts about
the pandemic come forward.
Feel free to question my numbers if you think they are wrong.