The great news is ICU staff are getting much better at keeping people alive when they get ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome) which can happen with other diseases (like Influenza). Seems, the ICUs can keep 84% alive while they wait for the inflammation to subside and the damage to heal. Though the DIY version at home probably won’t be so effective.
Not enough beds
Obviously, this explains my obsessive interest in the percentage needing ICU care and also the Ro (rate of reproduction or spread). With a shortage of ICU beds, slowing the spread makes a life-and-death difference to state the bleeding obvious. To bore you again: in Australia we have about 1 ICU bed per 12000 people or 2,000 ICU beds nationally.
Check out the Ro epidemiology curve written here Jan 31st: Corona virus and those exponential curves. .. The only way to reduce the R0 to zer0 is to “Stop The Flights”. The next best option (far distant second) are mass lockdowns, closure of factories, schools, offices, etc.
As a reader wrote to me yesterday: It’s not practical to close the borders. My reply: It’s not practical to kill 100,000 people either but one or the other may happen. Do the maths, WHO estimates 1% CFR (Case Fatality Rate. Let’s be optimistic, call it 0.5%. Deaths in the next six months: Australia, 125,000; Canada, 175,000; New Zealand, 25,000, USA, 1.6m; UK, 300,000. Geddit?