The 3.4% is probably higher. I did my math manually by using
And dividing deaths by total cases.
Whatever the actual reality may be, if even ONE person falls ill (and becomes another host for this that can kill someone else) or dies from a convention with 100,000 people, it's too many, and totally unnecessary.
If the infection rate falls and recovery is in sight by June, I'll reconsider the trip. But as it is now, it's looking like any major trips, especially around 100,000 people or more, are off for 2020. Without being totally judgmental, I believe it would be remiss of GenCon to host the event with Coronavirus cases increasing daily. But again, we won't really know how things look until May or June.
It's currently looking like things are just getting started and we're in for a very sick summer. It'll be difficult tot feel comfortable being squeezed in with thousands and thousands all touching games and playing together inches away from one another on low sleep without proper nutrition and sanitation for 4 days even if the virus rates are lower by July.
Call me dramatic, but it's unsettling knowing people are currently dying due to a virus that I would just be ignoring the possibility of in a crowded hall while trying to have fun and enjoy my life that they've lost due to this.
I have until July 13th to cancel my downtown reservation. Your dramatic insight is not going to change that for me and many others - and even the others who are right now chomping at the bit to get my room within seconds if I were to cancel.
Life is full of risks. Hell, getting to Gen Con is a risk. I have to drive 300 miles one way (600 miles total round trip) to get there. According to my math, right now statistically, I have twice as much chance of getting killed in a car wreck going to and from the Con as I do dying of this current strain of Coronavirus. Yet I find myself even less worried about driving...
The entire cleaning supply isle at our Walmart looks like the bread isle does when the weather forecasts a light dusting of snow.
According to the CDC, there have been more than 20,000 deaths of Americans due to the flu -- just this flu season so far. Possibly as many as 52,000.
And I simply disagree that the possibility of one death means we shouldn't have conventions, jobs, school, and continue to live our lives. How many people over the years have died in car accidents while driving to Gen Con? I'm fairly confident that number is >0. And those deaths would be entirely preventable if we just never had Gen Con. Life isn't to be lived only when things are 'finally safe'. There are always health concerns. And what societies do is figure out when those concerns are too great. And that cutoff is not at '0% risk'.
Your own evaluation, in my opinion, is failing to take into account a lot of factors. For example, you are saying GC should not hold their event in July and August because of how things are now, and how you think things will turn out then. And then you evaluate and say that you can only see things turning out worse. But in fact the health authorities, to refer to them again, are not saying those same things. Corona viruses, for example, are often worse in cold weather and have more difficulty spreading in warm weather. Flu is the same way. So there is some thought that the summer might see things get better. The speed at which events are canceling now is also a good indication. Furthermore--and I've blasted China for their untrustworthy data through all of this, but--if what they are saying is true at this point (and some outside agencies are monitoring as well), they are starting to open businesses again, return people to work in all but the Wuhan, Hubei area where it all started. So here we are, a month or so out from the worst there, and they claim it's already turning around.
And unlike China, our government, and other governments, started responding to it right away. All of that works against your theory that it will only get worse in the summer. These are all factors that the health agencies we rely on to be professionals are taking into account.
It would be foolish of Gen Con to make decisions about people's lives and livelihoods (GC represents vital business and income for many people) based on things the authorities are not saying, and well in advance of when they have to. Currently, events are canceling about a month out. There is zero reason for Gen Con to cancel now, not when the facts on the ground are changing, for better and worse, by the day.
I won't call you overdramatic--what I will say is that you are making a lot of declarations about how things are and how things are going to be that fly in the face of what public health professionals with far more information than you are saying.
If Gencon restricted attendees to those 18-40 without underlying medical conditions, it would still be a bad idea to hold the con if coronavirus were still circling around. What about the hundreds or thousands of people living and working downtown. What about their health?
We aren’t doing enough to stop the spread according to the former FDA chief.
Q. Can an epidemic still be avoided?
A. We certainly are past containment. We have to think about aggressive steps at mitigation. It's impossible to avoid an epidemic here in the U.S. We do have the potential to limit the scope of the epidemic, but we need to be taking more aggressive steps. My concern now is we're not taking aggressive enough steps at mitigation to prevent a broader epidemic. And so the risk is that we have the potential for tens of thousands of cases and not just thousands of cases.
Q. What can mitigation accomplish?
A. If you implement mitigation steps, what you do is, you slow the rate at which people get the virus. You end up extending the epidemic, it lasts longer, but it doesn't peak as high. You want to slow the rate of infection here so that you can manage it with the health care system. That's got to be a primary concern right now.
Q. What does aggressive mitigation look like?
A. Shutting down businesses where you have a large number of people congregating indoors, where you have rapid spread. Think of movie theaters. Requiring businesses to have nonessential people telework. Slowing transportation.
Are you saying then that we should never have Gen Con again in that case?
It will be a bad idea to have large gatherings if COVID-19 is spreading and infecting at too high a rate. It will be as reasonable to have large gatherings as it ever is if the risk drops down far enough to be acceptable. This is not a binary relationship--100% safety means we have gatherings, <100% safety means we don't. That's not how anyone actually operates.
It's also the case that people with compromised systems need to make decisions for themselves at some point. For example, it is always the case that some people with compromised systems have to not go places because of seasonal flu. But that doesn't mean the rest of us should change our behavior dramatically. If COVID-19 is in the manageable stage in July, but still 'around', it will make perfect sense to hold a convention, even if people who are particularly at risk should not attend.
Q. Who is at the greatest risk?
A. The case fatality rates really start to increase dramatically above 60. So you look at some of the literature, 60 to 70 case fatality rate is probably about 4%; 70 to 80, it's probably 10%; above 80, it looks like it's 14 or 15%. It really goes up dramatically. But this isn't a benign illness, even for someone who's 45, or 47 like me. (Potentially) 1 in 250 to 1 in 550 45-year-olds who get this will die. That's enormous.
And your gathering risks everyone else in downtown Indy. There are likely older workers or those with compromised immune systems. This is not the same as the flu and should not be treated as such.
Q. And large gatherings?
A. I think right now, we should be limiting large gatherings, especially in areas where we know that there's spread.
Q. Would you cancel March Madness?
A. I think we're going to be at a point very soon where we think of canceling sporting events (or holding) them in empty stadiums like they're doing in South Korea. You don't want to bring together a lot of people in closed spaces, especially indoors, where you can have easy transfer. Look at what happened with the CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) and AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) conferences. Do you want to continue to hold conferences and have to run the risk that your entire attendee list is put into a quarantine because there was someone there who is infected?
Scott Gottlieb, btw, was an internal med doctor about 20 years ago, before going into a career in pharma consulting and board work for pharma companies, and political appointments. His tenure at the FDA wasn't awful by any means. But the FDA is not an agency that specializes in things like epidemics and pandemics, and neither is his medical background one of epidemics and pandemics and infectious diseases.
Go look at what the CDC and the WHO are saying. That's what I'm doing. If you want to listen to the FDA about epidemics, you certainly can. But that's not what they do professionally, and it's not what Gottlieb ever did professionally.
Maybe we should send out a survey of attendees:
"If there is a virus going around that will likely kill tens of thousands of people in this county per year, should we cancel Gen Con?"
Emerald City Comicon didn't postpone until a few weeks away from the event's planned start. Gencon doesn't need to make a decision for months still.
Now is the time for everyone to do the hardest thing of all: Wait.
I really hate to be the one to tell you this —- but that is already the case. Had been for years now, at least 25+ years of a virus killing at least 10,000 per year. We call it the flu.
And yet, Gen Con still went on...
[This post has been removed]
This virus kills the elderly at up to 15%. See the link I posted earlier.