COVID-19 Data – The Big Picture

March 22, 2020

From Ahvie Herskowitz, MD and Devin Wilson, ND

In those countries that have suppressed the COVID 19 outbreaks — China, Korea, Japan, Singapore, and Taiwan, there are very few new cases.

Reversal of their local epidemics took roughly 4-8 weeks of diligent care to reduce viral exposures. Mortality rates varied from 4.0% in China to 1.7% in Korea and were primarily seen in the elderly and patients with other pre-existing medical conditions.

Social distancing and expanded testing with isolation worked! Life is now slowly returning to normal in these countries, after a relatively short period. Governments acted, and there are NO signals of any second wave of cases. LESSON: the sooner a country acts, the lesser the burden.

In Europe, like in China, countries that delayed social distancing, mortality rates now reflect overburdened healthcare systems — 8.6% in Italy and 5.3% in Spain.

In the USA, we have regions that electively “locked down” earlier than others Ᾱ SF Bay area acted earlier — a total of 9 deaths (1.6%) vs. NYC’s 44 deaths (5.3%), and Seattle’s 83 deaths (5.4%).

OOur USA numbers for confirmed cases (24,142) are not yet meaningful since testing is still not widely available; neither is our low mortality rate of 1.2% (288 total deaths), since our healthcare systems in certain locations (i.e., New York City) are only now coming under great pressure.

We can expect surges in these numbers all over the country and in key states like NY, Washington, Florida, NJ, Illinois, Michigan, Colorado, and Texas.


The sooner our entire nation goes into lockdown mode, the faster we will recover! Statistical models demonstrate that the duration will be somewhere in the 3-7 week range.

While younger populations and persons in very good health are unlikely to be seriously injured by this virus, we can all be asymptomatic carriers. The faster we bring down our collective exposures to one another, the quicker we will recover.

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About Ahvie Herskowitz, MD

Dr. Herskowitz’s extensive training includes a medical degree from The Albert Einstein College of Medicine, residencies in Anatomic Pathology and Internal Medicine, and Fellowship training in Cardiology at The Johns Hopkins Medical Center. During his 12 years at Johns Hopkins, he became Associate Professor of Medicine and Immunology and Molecular Microbiology and led a research team in the study of molecular and immunological mechanisms of inflammation, autoimmunity, ischemia, heart transplantation rejection and congestive heart failure.

Dr. Herskowitz’s latest academic appointment was as Clinical Professor of Medicine at UC San Francisco. To learn more about Dr. Herskowitz, you can read it bio here.


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