The Imperial College team plugged infection and death rates from China/Korea/Italy into epidemic modeling software and ran a simulation: what happens if the US does absolutely nothing — if we treat COVID-19 like the flu, go about our business, and let the virus take its course?— Jeremy C. Young (@jeremycyoung) March 17, 2020
Here’s what would happen: 80% of Americans would get the disease. 0.9% of them would die. Between 4 and 8 percent of all Americans over the age of 70 would die. 2.2 million Americans would die from the virus itself.— Jeremy C. Young (@jeremycyoung) March 17, 2020
So the actual death toll from the virus would be closer to 4 million Americans — in a span of 3 months. 8-15% of all Americans over 70 would die.— Jeremy C. Young (@jeremycyoung) March 17, 2020
How many is 4 million people? It’s more Americans than have died all at once from anything, ever. It’s the population of Los Angeles. It’s 4 times the number of Americans who died in the Civil War…on both sides combined. It’s two-thirds as many people as died in the Holocaust.— Jeremy C. Young (@jeremycyoung) March 17, 2020
Where did coronavirus come from?
The SARS virus jumped from horseshoe bats to humans via civets in China in 2003. The MERS virus jumped from bats to humans via camels in Saudi Arabia in 2012. H1N1 or swine flu jumped from pigs to humans in Mexico in 2009. What if the new coronavirus is just the latest example of this? Wouldn’t a natural origin of coronavirus make the most sense in light of recent outbreaks?
“Malayan pangolins (Manis javanica) illegally imported into Guangdong province contain coronaviruses similar to SARS-CoV-221. Although the RaTG13 bat virus remains the closest to SARS-CoV-2 across the genome1, some pangolin coronaviruses exhibit strong similarity to SARS-CoV-2 in the RBD, including all six key RBD residues21 (Fig. 1). This clearly shows that the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein optimized for binding to human-like ACE2 is the result of natural selection. …
All SARS-CoV-2 genomes sequenced so far have the genomic features described above and are thus derived from a common ancestor that had them too. The presence in pangolins of an RBD very similar to that of SARS-CoV-2 means that we can infer this was also probably in the virus that jumped to humans. This leaves the insertion of polybasic cleavage site to occur during human-to-human transmission. …”
Somewhere in November, a Chinese person in Wuhan met up with the wrong illegally trafficked pangolin and this is the result.