Covid-19 Daily Death Rate From First Reported Death – Country Comparisons – How China’s Lies Hurt Two Regions with Deep Ties to China

I was looking for a simple graph to compare the Covid-19 death rate increase country by country – starting from the first reported death.  The death rate, while still imperfect, is one of the “hardest” pieces of data we have to work within understanding the spread of the disease and the likely number of cases. (Tomas Pueyo – from Medium has an excellent explanation of this).

I have had a hunch that Covid has been lurking around Seattle far longer than most think.  I know people who think that they have had cases here all the way back as far as December.  People reporting horrible flu unlike they had ever experienced.  Many people saying – “I can’t believe it because I had a flu shot!”   The data now seems to show that the Covid-19 spread started in China earlier than we had been led to believe, and it reached the Seattle area and Italy earlier than we thought.   China lied and covered up the truth.

The chart data helps to explain why Northern Italy and the Seattle area both showed a massively fast exponential death rate increase. Italy’s death rate increase has been faster than China’s.  Seattle spiked to over 20 deaths almost overnight and has the highest death total in the United States.  The death rate really is the hard data that shows the virus was here and spreading much earlier than most believed.

It is now widely believed and reported that China’s patient Zero was known on November 17th.  It is also clear that the Chinese authorities hid the truth and sought to clamp down on doctors who reported the outbreak to Chinese authorities early on.

The Seattle/ Pacific Northwest area and Italy have quite a few things in common.  Both Northern Italy and the Seattle area have a VERY large and regular influx of Chinese nationals.  And both regions have engaged Chinese immigration for economic gains, and both have had struggles dealing with the outcomes of immigration.

Northern Italy, particularly Prato & Milan have a very large Chinese population.  Official figures put the Chinese population of Italy at 320,794 however it is well known that illegal immigration figures make the total Chinese population much larger.  It is also been well known for years that Chinese immigrants in Italy have been importing cheap labor from China illegally to manufacture upscale Italian textile brands on the cheap.  Often skirting local labor laws and regulations.  The result – regular direct plane routes from China.

The greater Seattle area and particularly the area’s in the Eastside have a huge Chinese population.  Being a native of Bellevue, WA, and a longtime Microsoft employee, I have watched the Chinese population explode in the area.  In Bellevue, the Asian population is about 34%  the majority is from China.  Nearby cities of Redmond, Kirkland, Sammamish,and others also all tout very large Chinese populations.  The Chinese immigrants have been settling in the area for a number of reasons.   Primarily well to do Chinese are trying to “escape” living in China, they desire to live in a place that has less pollution, government corruption, and better education opportunities for their children.  The Chinese invasion has been a bit of a double-edged sword for Seattle.  It has driven up real estate prices, changed the look and feel of neighborhoods.

Chinese immigration has brought both opportunity and consternation to locals who at times both welcome and resent their new neighbors.   It has also been known for years that China was producing a lot of technical talent from its major universities.  Microsoft, Amazon and several other local tech companies, not unlike Italian textile companies, knew that they could secure loads of Chinese tech talent on the cheap using H1B Visa’s.

While I was at Microsoft there was a concerted effort to hire more Chinese developers to the company.  The effort was led by Qi Lu – a Chinese-American software leader. Lu was at that time the Senior Vice President of the Online Services Division that included Bing and MSN.  At that time, around 2014, I was instructed to replace as many US FTE’s as I could with Chinese based employees.  The incentive for me was that I could have 3 Chinese headcount added to my team for every 1 US headcount I could get off the payroll.  I resented the plan and the idea.  But it was a division-wide program,  the belief at that time was that getting a strong foothold in China would be strategically important for Microsoft, and getting a steady stream of cheaper Chinese labor would benefit the company over the long term.  I do not know what the status of that program is now.

The point of all of this is that the Seattle area now has very a large population of Chinese immigrants and a very large influx of Chinese people traveling back and forth from China every day.  It is part of life in the Pacific Northwest.  I am not saying it is bad, I am simply stating it is a fact that we have a large population and deep ties to China.  Further, I have two kids that go to the University of Washington, and if you have ever toured that campus or the area, you are instantly struck by the large percentage of Chinese students.  There are about 4,000 Chinese students at UW from their own reports.   It is thought that there are Hundreds from Hubei province as UW is a popular choice for that area. UW does not release those figures.

Back to the chart – the chart shows total number of deaths in each country starting from the first reported death from Covid-19.   If you assume that China has been lying and covering up the earliest reports of Covid dating at least back to November 17th.  You can then explain why the death spikes were so oddly high for both Italy and the Seattle area – and you can extrapolate the same for China.  The likelihood is that both the Seattle area and Northern Italy have had Covid in the community as early as December, and it is highly likely that community spread has been happening well before the first reported deaths in both areas.   Early studies already show that Covid-19 was in Seattle weeks earlier than first thought.

Covid Death 1

It is also likely that South Korea was hit just a bit later, and highly likely that Sout Korea’s very aggressive actions including massive testing and better medicine have made a HUGE difference in reducing the total number of deaths there.

For the United States and Italy, unfortunately, I think this data shows that China’s lies, coverups, and missteps in handling the initial outbreak will mean devastating and permanent damage to two of China’s most closely tied regions in the West.   The spike in deaths and the economic carnage caused by weeks of China’s lies and delays will kill thousands in Northern Italy, and may yet do the same in the Seattle area.

Looking at the South Korea death totals from day 1 clearly demonstrates that the earlier thataggressive actions are taken the better outcomes nations can expect in controlling death tolls.  The graph shows that the United States is at a crossroads right now.  If we act aggressively and smartly, we can look more like South Korea and Less like Italy.  It is in our hands now as a nation.  Unfortunately, China’s lies and coverups made things infinitely worse for these areas with the deepest ties.

Only history will tell how much damage has been done to our relations with China.  If many thousands die in these regions, the stain will likely last a generation or more.  The cultures of these areas were already beginning to clash, and the damage from the death and economic fallout will only add to that strain.

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I LOVE this Joe Rogan Tesla Video – Best Explanation of Why Tesla is KILLING IT!

Joe Rogan on Tesla Model S

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Covid-19 Vs. Suicide and Other Population Scourages

I have been thinking about the Panic surrounding Covid -19 over the weekend.  Including some of the more crazy things, I have heard, seen and read over the weekend.  I have read a story on a dog in HK being potentially diagnosed with the virus, panic shopping at Costco and other retailers – making arun on everything from N95 face masks to cans of soup and chili.

I am not a Covid-19 denier, I don’t think it is a Hoax, and for those who get it, and get sick or die, I am terribly sorry and sad for them and their family and friends.   But it does seem to me that some perspective might be helpful to keep in mind.  Numbers and data are usually a good way to look at the situation and put things in perspective.  So I thought I would try and convey a few numbers to help think about Covid-19 in relative terms.

At the time of this writing, there are approximately 89,000 cases of confirmed Covid-19 worldwide and just under 3000 deaths. That is a bad thing, and it is going to get worse.  How much worse is a matter of great discussion everywhere.  The most comprehensive discussion on how much worse seems to be here at the New York Times.

When looking at big problems, I like to try and look at what is the worst-case scenario?  How bad can this thing really get?  After reading a ton of articles and digesting the various scenarios from health experts I have developed a very simple estimate of what a horribly bad worse case estimate might look like.  This is a very simple equation – but one that works when using worst-case scenarios currently considered possible by health experts

If the pandemic were to infect 60% of the population worldwide, and if Covid-19 were to have a 1% fatality rate, the total number of fatalities could be 46.6 Million People.   That is an outrageous number and a very unlikely worst-case scenario.  Here is the very simple math for how I get to that unlikely number.

World Population of 7.76 Billion, 60% of World Population contracts Covid-19, a 1% Fatality Rate of those infected.

(7.76B x .60 X.01 = 46.6 Million).

46.6 Million deaths is a horrifying number, if this scenario were to take place it would take around 2-3 years to play out.  It would mean that almost all government containment efforts failed, it would further assume that no successful vaccine would be developed, and it would also assume that no viable treatment would be delivered in time to slow the fatality rate and or spread of the disease.

None of those things is very likely to happen.   It is far more likely that treatments will be developed and advanced, social distancing and other government-sponsored safety efforts will slow the spread of the disease.  It is entirely likely one of the many potential vaccines now being developed will be proven effective within months – not years – and will be produced and dosed in mass within one year.

But even in the very worst-case scenario of 46 Million deaths – in a world population of 7.76 Billion People, this virus will certainly come and go as a mere blip on the human population growth continuum.  Again, just to put things in perspective – it is estimated that there have been approximately 23 Million Births so far this year – and this year is just 2 months old. There will be about 130 Million new humans born in 2020.   So it is reasonable to conclude that even if Covid-19 was as bad as it could possibly be, we will still welcome a significant amount of net new humans to the earth this year.

It is scary to think that you could “catch” a sudden disease and die a painful quick death.  It captures our imagination in a way that strikes fear in our hearts and minds.  We worry about our loved ones, and we worry about our own health.  It forces us to face our certain mortality in a way that we find scary and uncomfortable, and potentially much sooner than we had ever planned.   These thoughts drive irrational fear, and all of this is a very normal part of human psychology. Since we evolved from apes, we have learned to select and act upon negative messages far greater than any positive messages.

The media is well aware of all of this.  In today’s hyper-competitive media environment that is measured by click-through rates, the number of social shares, and pageviews – the writers of press articles, and even more so, the writers of headlines, are rewarded by writing & promoting titillatingly scary headlines that drive clicks and shares.  All of this contributes to the hysteria we are seeing at Costcos, Targets, CVS’s and Walgreens across the country.

Here are a few more interesting numbers that you might consider when thinking about how “Big a Deal” this Covid-19 really is.  You can compare Covid-19 deaths to Cancer, Suicide, Auto Accidents, HIV, Alcohol Deaths and as you can see in the chart below, at least for now, Covid is a minor player in the world of major scourages on the world’s populations.   That does not mean that Covid-19 might not rise to near the top for some limited amount of time of history, but at least for now, it is a very minor play amongst many other more prominent and potentially more preventable causes of death.

So while the financial markets seem to be saying that the world looks like it is nearing collapse, and the TV news, internet news web sites and social media services stir the pot for their own benefit.  You might want to pause, and really think about the numbers, and consider if that panic you might be feeling is justified or not?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What a day!

Well the Porsche did NOT happen. Unfortunately, it was just NOT that nice of a car. I thought that being it was CPO it would be cosmetically perfect, or at lead damn close. But when I got to the dealership and inspected the car, it was just not that nice at all. The car had front end damage and the repairs were done poorly. There was bubbles in the repainting, and other discoloration. But worse than that, when I went to test drive the car, when I pulled the seatbelt out, it was WET! And it smelled musty! The passenger side seatbelt had mold on it! At that point I lost interest in the car completely. I thought a CPO from Porsche would be an easy buy with no issues to worry about. But that is simply not the case. You absolutely need to inspect everything VERY closely. They are NOT brought up to new standard. So I took a really great trip to Portland and enjoyed the trip. But now my Porsche dreams are definitely on HOLD!

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Train Seattle to Portland

It’s a great way to get to Portland- I do business class as the extra room and quiet space is nicer and worth the $

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My 2014 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

I am totally psyched.  Today is the day I pick up my brand new (new to me that is) Porsche!   I decided to go for a certified pre-owned 2014 Carrera Cabriotlet.  I went for the convertible because I love the feeling of having the top-down cruising, and I decided to “settle” on not getting an S or upper-end Turbo model, primarily because I don’t plan to race or track the car, and the base model engine is “good enuf” for me.

I am buying the car from Beaverton Porsche just outside of Portland OR.  I decided to go for a Certified Pre-owned.   Figured that the extra money spent on this would be worth the peace of mind, and knowing the car is good from the get-go with no big negative surprises.

It is a gorgeous and crisp sunny day today in Portland and the weather is beautiful for my maiden voyage back to Woodinville.   Pictures videos and more coming soon of the day.

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Ride to & around Ferry County

Ferry County- Washington State. I started off from Rim Rock Cove Blue Lake – WA

From there I headed towards Wilbur WA – that part is mostly straight and pretty boring for a short bit on HWY2.

Just before you get to Wilbur on HWY 2 , you take a left and head north toward Keller’s Ferry. This is where it starts getting fun. The approach to the Keller’s Ferry recreation area is awesome. But too short. About 3 miles of very nice twisty roads.

From there you hop on the FREE ferry that takes you across the Columbia to the Colville Indian Reservation. Very pretty area. The Ferry ride is short and fun.

There are some great loops to take up in this area. I went up to Republic WA, had a coffee, then I took a Loop from there that took me to Wauconda WA. This is in the Okanogan Forest area. Interesting history here. Was a gold mining area in the early 1900’s.

From there I went to Curlew WA where just outside of town there they have a great car and truck Museum

Two really interesting things to me. One is a fire truck that is owned by Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam game. Apparently he bought the truck for the town and area in support of the museum. Vedder apparently support Ferry county In various ways as he’s a big fan of the area. Here is a picture of his truck.

The truck was used in service in Bend Oregon and in Fossil Oregon.

Also interesting in the museum. It is an old steam Sawmill that was put back together in working order. The museum has some

excellent pictures of the mill and it was in use. And some great information about the family that owns the mill and how they lived in the early 1900s.

Highly recommend visiting this museum if you are nearby Curlew or Republic.

My next stop was Republic Brewing Company Very good beer, good lunch stop. They let you bring in food from neighborhood establishments if you want something not on their limited food menu.

From there I went back to the Ferry – then on to Coulee Dam – to Electric City – then back to Rim Rock Cove. Blue Lake:

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