Practical Considerations for Coronavirus (COVID-19) Risk Reduction

By Dr. Steven Fry

Feb. 29, 2020
As USA has just recorded their first Coronavirus death …**

(and now … just 3 days later, the US Death Toll is up to 6)

How is the Wuhan Coronavirus (aka COVID-19) affecting the people we know & love?

Are you at risk? … What are the risks of death for Covid-19? …  2% ?  … as reported by the talking heads of Big Media outlets?

What is your personal risk?
Curiously, as we consider men vs women,    young vs old,    healthy vs sick people … What about healthy people with underlying conditions – that are under control? … Diabetes? … Lung Problems? … High Blood Pressure?

What about people with immune system problems, or cancer … people who are being treated with steroids or other drugs suppress their immune systems, but who are currently living healthy lives?

Considering all those real-world factors … realize that no group on Earth has the “2% death rate”  described by Big Media.

So far … The actual statistics are not quite what Big Media … FaceBook … and other people claim… Sadly,  UNLIKE FLU …. COVID-19 infected people with ~no symptoms~ are shedding as much virus as COVID-19 people hospitalized with critical infections.

= = = = = = = = =
Sadly, unlike Flu … COVID-19 death rates are 46X – 75X higher than Flu, for the higher-risk groups … Cardiovascular disease patients … Diabetics … High Blood Pressure & people with respiratory (lung) problems … people over age 60 … and Cancer patients & others with compromised immune systems.

Resultado de imagen de coronavirus facts

Before we dive into the actual current (Feb. 29, 2020) COVID-19 statistics, consider this graphic:

COVID Mortality Rates

Notice that depending on your age,  you may take very different precautions.

Then consider the consequences that many contagious people with COVID-19 are infecting the people around them for a full 2 weeks … before they show any symptoms.

Even scarier:  Some contagious people spreading COVID-19, never show symptoms.

COVID-19 Fatality Rate by AGE:

*Death Rate = (number of deaths/number of cases) = probability of dying if infected by the virus (%). This probability differs depending on the age group. The percentage shown below does NOT represent in any way the share of deaths by age group. Rather, it represents, for a person in a given age group, the risk of dying if infected with COVID-19.

confirmed cases
all cases
80+ years old21.9%14.8%
70-79 years old8.0%
60-69 years old3.6%
50-59 years old1.3%
40-49 years old0.4%
30-39 years old0.2%
20-29 years old0.2%
10-19 years old0.2%
0-9 years oldno fatalities

*Death Rate = (number of deaths/number of cases) = probability of dying if infected by the virus (%).

In general, relatively few cases are seen among children.

Sex ratio

COVID-19 Fatality Rate by SEX:

*Death Rate = (number of deaths/number of cases) = probability of dying if infected by the virus (%). This probability differs depending on sex. When reading these numbers, it must be taken into account that smoking in China is much more prevalent among males. Smoking increases the risks of respiratory complications.

confirmed cases
all cases

*Death Rate = (number of deaths/number of cases) = probability of dying if infected by the virus (%).

Pre-existing medical conditions (comorbidities)

Patients who reported no pre-existing (“comorbid”) medical conditions had a case fatality rate of 0.9%. Pre-existing illnesses that put patients at higher risk of dying from a COVID-19 infection are:

COVID-19 Fatality Rate by COMORBIDITY:

*Death Rate = (number of deaths/number of cases) = probability of dying if infected by the virus (%). This probability differs depending on pre-existing conditions. The percentage shown below does NOT represent in any way the share of deaths by pre-existing condition. Rather, it represents, for a patient with a given pre-existing condition, the risk of dying if infected by COVID-19.

confirmed cases
all cases
Cardiovascular disease13.2%10.5%
Chronic respiratory disease8.0%6.3%
no pre-existing conditions0.9%

*Death Rate = (number of deaths/number of cases) = probability of dying if infected by the virus (%).  ”

Other Current Statistics on COVID-19

86,000 People are confirmed sick with Coronavirus at the moment across 47 countries,
of which 79,000 are in China.   This means that if you are not in or haven’t recently visited China, this might reduce 94% of your concern.

If you do contract Coronavirus, this still is not a cause for panic because:
82% of the Cases are MILD
18% of the Cases are Serious or Critical …

This means that even if you do get the virus, you are more likely to recover from it. … but … there have been 3,000 deaths out of 86,000 confirmed cases.

Latest data here:

Some have said, “but this is worse than SARS !.
SARS had a fatality rate of 10% while COVID-19 has an overall fatality rate of 3.5%… but as we saw from the results above, your actual risks of death may be as high as 15%.

This means that:
if you are under 50 years of age and don’t live in China – you are more likely to win the lottery (which has a 1 in 45,000,000 chance).

Handwashing has been shown to reduce your COVID-19 risks by between just 20%-25%. … but every little bit of risk reduction adds up to overall lower risks.

Effective handwashing takes some surprising effort … 30 seconds (whistle Yankee Doodle, twice) of brisk rubbing with soapy suds …

Hand-sanitizer gel usage can be very effective  IF the hand-sanitizer has over 60% alcohol…

Handling Money??
… Bake the money for 20 minutes** in a 200º F warming oven … A 200º F oven is 93º C …

and Yes … That’s a proven old-school technique from the 1930’s => Dry Sterilization …


 …  “Some coronaviruses can linger on surfaces for up to 9 days.

**Notice that if an object is at 145º F  (65º C) for at least 3 minutes, the heat kills all viruses & all bacteria and even Cryptoporids  & their encysted spores.   That means that if we spread the bills & coins out on cookie sheets in an already warm 200ºF warming oven – the bills & coins temperatures heated for 10 minutes, would easily exceed the 145ºF @ 3 minutes standard. …  Since some people’s ovens may not be at 200ºF, and since some people may put in small clumps of bills, then 20 minutes at 200ºF gets typical clumps of bills up to 145ºF for 3 minutes. Why aren’t the Big Media talking heads reporting this? It’s not clear … but China reports it’s Central Bank is now sterilizing their money.

Further Examples … Notice that “Pasteurization” of foods & drinks has been proven for over 150 years … Pasteurization temperatures are 63º – 65º C for 30 minutes. … The 200º F (93º C) money-sterilization for 20 minutes very nicely exceeds typical ‘Pasteurization’ protocols. ?

Wearing a Mask?
That’s the problem … you should only be wearing a mask if you are sick.

Notice that wearing a well-fitting N95 mask can keep BOTH the caregivers and the AT-RISK healthy patients (who have compromised immune systems or lung problems) … from inhaling over 99% other people’s sneezed droplets.

None of us want to inhale this gunk   …  floating around for hours. 

Steven Fry's photo.

Realities of Well-fitting N95 Masks     versus   stylish & chic Surgical Masks:
Sadly … Many talking heads on TV    and even some Medical Doctors & Nurses are quoting results for leaky surgical masks … because as non-scientists, they aren’t familiar with the scientific test results – and they inappropriately substitute their knowledge of surgical masks (SM’s) in place of N-95 FFR mask performance.

Typical Doctor’s & Nurse’s surgical masks leak roughly 40% of the contagious sneezed aerosol droplets – through gaps around the nose & cheeks.

Surgical masks are designed to catch Doctor’s sneezes & Nurse’s coughs in the ER … to keep the patient safe from the Doctors & Nurses – protecting the patient … not the Doctor nor the Nurse.

Well-fitted N95 FFRs masks are INSTEAD designed to protect the patient from inhaling contagious sneezed aerosol droplets floating around in the air … protecting the wearer from inhaling 99.8% of small airborne liquid aerosol.

Again … Notice that a well fitted N95 mask is proven to block 99.8% of the contagious droplets sneezed~coughed by others.

Notice that both caregivers & people with lung problems or compromised immune systems … diabetes patients … cancer patients … and cardiovascular disease …. need well-fitting N95 masks … NOT SURGICAL MASKS …

NOT this … These styles leak air around the nose & cheeks:

Steven Fry's photo.

Instead, consider a well-fitting N95 mask, that has no gaps around the nose or cheeks,    like this:

Steven Fry's photo.

Tests using aerosols in the size range of sneezed droplets showed … two different N95 FFRs showed just 0.17% and 0.86% “Filter Penetration”… blocking even tiny 0.045 micron (um) aerosol droplets.

while the basic leaky Surgical Mask had 88.1% “Filter Penetration” …

For comparison, sneezed contagious droplets at 0.5 um – 12 um are much easier to block (stop from inhalation) than the 99.8% efficiency found for 0.045 um test aerosol droplets.

WHEN to Wear a Mask:
Virologists are saying that when a Coronavirus patient sneezes or coughs, it can be inhaled by people within a 6 ft (2 meters) radius … and within 10 minutes of the infected person sneezing or coughing.

That means anyone sick with COVID-19 should wear a mask, to catch their sneezed droplets,  and anyone within 6 ft of an uncovered sneeze or cough can benefit from wearing a well-fitting N95 mask.

Example:  You’re in the grocery store line, and the infected person in line behind you sneezes, and the person in front of you coughs – you’re pretty jammed up, without a mask. …  and if those people in line coughing & sneezing were wearing masks … it’s a seriously good help for everyone within 2 meters.

Then … Consider the scientific study results for contagious viral transmission contact on a plane.

One sick person walking down the aisle to the bathroom is shown to potentially contaminate every single person they walk by (15 rows x 2 people on each side) – if they happen to sneeze or cough.

Well-fitting N-95 Masks on the sick people, and on the people on the aisle seats … get help = protection from the masks.

That means that for all the contagious people with no symptoms, walking around, infecting others with COVID-19… it points to contact mechanisms.

Stopping Transmission that happens When We Touch Things:
Unfortunately, it means that we touch a surface that they touched, and then we (without thinking) we touch our face, nose or mouth … or casually rub our eye … or we touch a snack that we pick up.

Since Coronaviruses are shown to remain viable on surfaces up to 9 days … it points to some real risks we may not normally think about,

like touching a contaminated counter (at a bank, grocery checkout, or airport) … or touching the handle on a shopping cart or basket … or the grocery store cooler doors…or touch the keypad on a CC machine (to enter a PIN) or ATM keypad …

or touching money … that’s passed through many hands during the previous 9 days.

or worse yet … a shared keyboard at the nurse’s station or an ER’s tech-station ???

That perspective may mean re-thinking a bit about how we go through our days.

= = = = = = =

So,  yes,    even with washing hands (20 full seconds of soapy suds & aggressive-brisk rubbing to get a 25% reduced risk) … and a good N95 well-fitting mask (reducing airborne respiratory virus to near zero)  … we are still left with the risks of eye contact …

but hopefully,   nobody sneezes into your eye.

Finally,   follow your doctor’s advice …   If COVID-19 appears in your area,  consider avoiding crowds and avoiding areas where previous people’s sneezes & coughs contaminated aerosol droplets linger in the air – and are transmitted by the building’s big air-handling systems (like on cruise ships) …  and maybe even consider sterilizing your money (??)… Bake the money for 20 – 30 minutes in a 200º F warming oven … 200º F is 93º C …It’s a well-proven old-school technique from the 1930’s => Dry Sterilization …

If you or loved ones have loved-ones with pre-existing medical conditions … including suppressed immune systems, diabetes, cardiac conditions,  respiratory problems,   cancer,    and even high blood pressure … consider restricting their visitors  … and apply the same handwashing,  hand sanitizer, & N95 mask protections for their caregivers – so the caregivers do not unknowingly challenge the patient with a Coronavirus infection that is not showing symptoms.

* * * * * *
Be well … Take reasonable precautions …  Do your best to protect loved-ones with pre-existing medical conditions … including suppressed immune systems, diabetes, cardiac conditions,  respiratory problems,   cancer,    and even high blood pressure.

As always, consult with your physician for any health issues.   This article is only for informational & entertainment purposes.  It is not to replace your Doctor’s advice.

and …. Stay current with the updates on local & regional health concerns for where you live …   Fortunately,  Mexico has had just 4 confirmed cases so far.


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