your chances of dying is about 1 in 500
That is currently the worst case scenario death rate. The absolute ceiling to our estimates. The actual death rate will very likely be much much lower. Becuse we have no good figures on how many people are actually infected. How many infected have very mild responses and dont even show proper symptoms and so they wont seek help and wont get tested? That information will only be available months if not years later.
Swine flu has estimated 0.02% death rate now. When the 2009 pandemic hit, the panic was also great. The media reported death rate in the first weeks was also much higher than the actual rate turned out to be.
For an example lets say 10 people are hospitalised in a very serious condition. They get tested and turns out it is some sort of a new virus never seen before. 5 of them die before any new cases are discovered. The death rate will be 50%. But you have no idea yet if we have a world threatening pandemic on our doorstep or a very mild case of a 99.999% of the times an asymptomatic virus.
disproportional auto-immune reaction by the freaking out society
Sadly this is indeed the pandemic we need to react to time and time again. There however are some conflicting and potentially worrisome reports about the possibility of being re-infected, some concerns about long term complications and etc which should raise the severity of our response to this outbreak but not to the level of panic we are having now.
It is a good thing to move when seeing smoke but you dont want to start evacuating skyscrapers and hospitals every time someone smells something that could be smoke(er)
I think this is false. There’s some strong but circumstantial evidence available about how many cases are asymptomatic or only very mild. That evidence is factored into the most recent death rate estimates. The media continues citing the wrong stuff in lots of places, but people who search carefully can find somewhat robust information about the death rate by now, and even though I haven’t checked the source for the 1 in 500 number closely, it for several reasons seems unlikely to me that it’s based on the naive calculation.
See these estimates about the case fatality rate: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/medicine/sph/ide/gida-fellowships/Imperial-College-2019-nCoV-severity-10-02-2020.pdf
They don’t break them down by age groups though.
If anything 1 in 500 is more likely to be an optimistic scenario because it doesn’t factor in that 5% even of healthy people will still require hospital attention, and in true pandemic conditions, hospitals won’t have enough room. The hospital in Wuhan were overcrowded, and yet only very roughly 5% of Wuhan’s population got the virus. (And yes those 5% include mild or asymptomatic cases; confirmed cases was only 0.5%.)