The Wuhan Coronavirus - Professor Neil Ferguson's analysis

A few days ago, I made some calculations in a blog article about the Wuhan coronavirus. I estimated that the number of infections was doubling every three days. I expressed shock at the consequences of this rate of spread, for it meant that the current number of people infected in China, according to my rough calculations, should be around one million. If those numbers were correct, then the numbers of people infected, worldwide, by the beginning of March, if the disease didn't slow, would reach one billion. It's very hard to psychologically accept such an outcome. In our world, we are used to things carrying on as normal, with no great changes. If science tells us that something is happening that will turn our world upside-down, our natural reaction is to very sceptical, ignore it or dismiss it. Unfortunately, this is not rational. Once we've worked something out, using facts, science and logic, we must take action to deal with it. If we don't, we're just sheep.

Even at the time I wrote those numbers down, I worried that I was being alarmist. By estimating a three-day doubling period, I was in danger of looking like some sort of doomsday merchant. Fortunately, a far more qualified person has given his calculations about the spread of the coronavirus. Professor Neil Ferguson, who works at the Imperial College in London, is a senior epidemiologist. He has been studying the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus (I referred to him in this earlier blog but only in passing). He has been using complex modelling to predict how it will continue. He gave this YouTube interview on the 5th of February, in which he discussed what he had worked out so far:

Professor Ferguson speaks in a dry, calm, quiet way about his work but his low-key demeanour can be deceiving. The numbers he comes up with are startling. He calculates that the disease is doubling every five days. This is longer than my calculation but still very scary. He believed, on the 5th Feb when he gave the interview, that 50,000 people were being infected every day in China. I estimated, in my earlier blog, that one million people are infected, so far. This value becomes far more believable if Professor Ferguson is right about the number of daily, new infections. It's worth noting that Professor Ferguson said it was 50,000 people per day on the 5th Feb. According to his own doubling number, that rate should have swelled, already, to around 75,000 people per day. Chris Martenson recently commented on his Peak Prosperity YouTube channel that he believes that the official Chinese figures for infections are fictitious. According to one of his subscriber's statistical analysis, the numbers seem to be being popped out of a simple, quadratic equation. Professor Ferguson would probably agree that they are fake, at least off the record.

Professor Ferguson didn't speculate at all during his interview on how the disease will develop. He stuck to his research results, but the numbers speak for themselves. Such numbers also explain why the Chinese government is constructing hospitals and quarantine facilities at a breakneck pace. These efforts look very similar to those set up during the Spanish Flu 1918 pandemic.

Eleven days ago (it seems longer), I began blogging about the coronavirus. In my first article, I wondered if it would be another Spanish Flu. That question is more relevant than ever. Hopefully, our government will take on board Professor Ferguson's analysis, and the actions of China, and respond appropriately.