Covid19 in Germany

There is a lot of data freely available, unfortunately it seems to reflect testing more than the actual spread of the virus and so far it is hard to know whether the Chinese death rates are representative of the overall lethality. But a comparison might be enlightening.

In the winter of 2017/18 there was a severe flu epidemic in Germany. Partly because the less expensive vaccine didn’t work against it and the more expensive one wasn’t paid by health care system. Within 3,5 months an estimated 10 million cases lead to 25.000 deaths. A lethality of 0.25%, somewhat high for the flu but not unusually so. 60.000 people were hospitalized.

The lethality of Covid19 is somewhere between 3-12 times higher than that flu. So a similar epidemic might lead to 75.000 to 300.000 deaths in Germany. This is quite possible, because Covid19 seems to be at least as contagious as the flu.

Additionally, the flu is generally somewhat similar to strains that have been common before, so part of the population is somewhat immune even without vaccination. Covid19 is completely new and therefore might achieve much higher penetration, with 50-60% of the population being infected at some point being a distinct possibility. In that case the worst case scenario is up to a million deaths.

In fact the toll might be even higher than that, because the German population is significantly older than the Chinese population. So the percentage of particularly susceptible people is quite a bit higher than in China.

Of course Covid19 is taken much more seriously than the flu and I assume that this worst case scenario would be avoided by draconian measures probably implemented several weeks or even months too late for optimal effect, that will completely crater the economy.

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