Coronavirus update 1430 GMT

How to win? Taiwan’s response is best practice

This post is to compare confirmed cases in various countries and learn what works.

I constructed this simple chart. It ranks countries by the number of cases per million population.

Three points.

1. South Korea, China, and Taiwan are the only countries that have won the battle; cases peaked and have been diminishing for over a week. But their results are very different. South Korea has 80 cases for each one in Taiwan; China has 28 cases for each case in Taiwan. So this is a qualitative as well as quantitative difference.

More on the remarkable results for Taiwan below.

2. ALL other countries on this chart have many more cases than Taiwan AND are experiencing exponential growth, albeit at slightly different rates, but exponential none the same. The time it takes for a “one log growth” is six days to 10 days, depending on which country you are talking about. Translation: in a week, plus or minus a couple days, the case load as of today will be ten-times more. So Italy goes from 18,000 to 180,000; UK from 1140 to 11,400; Germany from 3953, to 40,000; US from 2340 to 20,000+. Remember previous posts on severity, etc. but for the next two weeks the absolute case number will be the story, the headlines. As of this writing 46% of cases are outside China; in next 72 hours you will see headlines “more cases outside of China than inside.”

3. I understand it is hard to teach a drowning man to swim. But at least in Germany, UK, and USA, there is still some time (a few days) to study what Taiwan did and slow the virus down.

This chart is completely self explanatory. You have to read it slowly, from top to bottom, and understand how they thought about the “triage” of three situations. The success here was not better doctors, nurses, technology, etc. These helped but the true success factor was people, one by one, over and over again, taking PERSONAL responsibility for staying in their house 24/7 for the 14 days if they found themselves in one of the situations on this chart. I have not seen a number but my estimate is well above 95% of people did their job.

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