From: San Antonio, TX
Let's not panic or joke about COVID-19. It's very real, but it has not yet been declared a pandemic. PLEASE read https://www.sciencenews.org/article/when-coronavirus-spread-reach-u-s-communities-cdc BEFORE responding to this post.
People who travel, or associate with people who do travel, are most at risk.
A summary of COVID-19 effects, based on 72,314 Chinese cases:
Mild: 81% (36,160 cases)
Severe: 14% (6168 cases)
Critical: 5% (2087 cases)
2.3% (1023 people) of the Chinese cases were fatal.
Sorry, Zorch. As a diagnostician, I balk at using the Chinese figures verbatim. Too fraught with political / party influence and glossing over the messy details of diagnostics. Their case definition has changed repeatedly through the outbreak and their case tallies are no more than symptomatic assessments in most cases. And, as I stated before, finding this viral agent in the presence of clinical symptoms (fever, respiratory disease) without ruling out the causality of those other primary respiratory diseases (influenza, bacterial pneumonia, TB, emphysema, etc.) makes assignation of any percentages to this disease impossible.
Without knowing the numerator and the denominator of the equation, you're left guessing how apt the data is to fit the model. If tens of millions of Chinese have been exposed and developed no symptoms and 2,000 cases were fatal, then it's not a 2% case fatality rate, but a .01% case fatality rate.
If you insist on using the Chinese figures verbatim, then you should rejoice at their latest declarations about the rapid waning of the disease. According to their press, Hubei province (home to 64,287 of the 77,262 Chinese cases) only had 450 cases on February 24. A dramatic slowdown. Please remember that the massive 'surge' in cases from Hubei coincided with the change in case definition a week or so ago.
Outside of Hubei, there are are 13,000 cases in China. For about 1.1 billion people. So that would work out to about 4,250 cases (assuming equal distribution for CONUS as China ex-Hubei) potential. x 2% 'case fatality' rate = 85 people. Awful-particularly for them and their families. But that shouldn't bring us to our knees freaking out and screaming that the sky is falling. Remember we collectively yawn about losing 40,000-65,000 people annually from flu.
But the economic consequences of China's overreaction and the stemming of their economic growth may be with us for a while. It's important not to conflate this with the boogeyman of this particular virus on our particular home turf.