Screener at Los Angeles airport tests positive for coronavirus, federal officials say

Pretty much. Economically damaging every US B&M business, limiting all churches, family reunions, Tinder, cinemas, shows and sporting events is daunting for any politician. “It’s the economy, stupid” is hard for anyone to ignore, let alone Trump who values lucre over lives. I don’t see how doing so won’t dip us all into a recession. Unless we can all start doing home manufacture of vaccine reagants, face masks, biohazard suits and purell stills. I’m not saying self-isolating the country is the wrong decision, but it would lead to a lot of bankrupcies.

I suggest a rule for thumb for people thinking about undetected cases. Considering that the US is only testing (for people infected domestically) patients in ICUs, and in some cases, the dead, an estimation methodology for untested infectees would be to transfer over the Wuhan ratio of people with the disease who end up in the ICU. Or the Wuhan death rate.

In other words multiply the number of ‘confirmed community cases with no known travel/contact history’ by 10, or multiply the number of deaths by 50. This would be quite a conservative estimate though:

  • Not everyone critically sick makes it to an ICU, not everyone who dies is tested
  • The US is healthier and hospital is expensive so a smaller proportion go to ICU of the infected, and probably a smaller proportion die.

But I think this is an useful lower bound.


Case in point: someone infected this screener, and where is that person, who passed through LAX undetected three weeks ago?


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