The Hidden Statistic: Rates of Recovery

Yes, I know I’m near my coronavirus topic quota but here’s a couple of things you might appreciate.

Firstly, Johns Hopkins have an excellent real-time site of the global state of affairs.

Secondly, and most importantly, within this site you’ll see a category that gets absolutely no coverage at all:


For example, look below at the situation in Singapore. There’s 102 confirmed cases there, but on the other side of the page you’ll see that 72 of these cases have since recovered.

I have been tracking the number of infections of nearby countries over the past few weeks but only just learnt of the recovered cases after finding this site. Yes, it’s important to know the total cases over time, but it’s equally important to know the current number of live cases— 32 in the case of Singapore.

Mainstream media should be including this statistic alongside the total confirmed cases — particularly as they’re still included in the total cases. Including recovered cases would give people some room for optimism and a clearer picture of each countries respective situation.

If the media isn’t faithfully reporting an accurate picture you’ll start getting more countries like Vietnam. It’s clear and present in the list of countries with confirmed cases but check the details: All the 16 confirmed cases have recovered — there is literally nobody in Vietnam with Covid-19!

A final look at the graph in the bottom right of the website gives us a final shot of positive news: the rate of recovery is trending faster than the rate of infection. Whether or not this continues is anyone’s guess but I’ll take the good news where I find it. This would be worth reporting if mainstream media weren’t committed to feeding our innate negativity bias. In any case now you know!

18 thoughts on “The Hidden Statistic: Rates of Recovery

  1. People in my city seem to prepare for a war or zombie apocalypse. People start to make panic purchases and hoard things… the last days I couldn’t get certain things in the stores lol. It really shows how much they’re influenced by the media scaremongering.

    It looks like the real-time site is not completely accurate. There is now at least one case in our city, and two in our federal state Schleswig-Holstein but they’re not shows on the real-time map.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah there’ll be a lag in the results coming through I think. They should be accurate in time though.
      Seems like most countries are having the same panic-stricken response. We’re nothing if not predictable!

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I find that not being at work for a few days and not obsessively watching the news gives me a great surprise when I finally DO turn on the the news and read papers. While trying to be reasonably cautious, I am amazed at the panic and fear fed to your ordinary citizen. And the reaction as Dennis describes. What people are still not getting is that those in danger and equally in danger when hit with the common flu. Let’s see how this develops.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The irrational panic is quite remarkable isn’t. In fairness it’s probably got more teeth than a normal flu but not by that much…there’s also some gaps of understanding around how the virus behaves and that spooks people. Like you say, let’s see how it develops….

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You might find this article interesting. It’s from the Financial Times although it has nothing to do with $$$, and more to do with a man’s history fighting viruses and what they ate for lunch. A touch of ‘A Gentleman in Moscow’ storytelling…

    The John Hopkins website is the best one I’ve found, too, but I must confess, the first time I saw it, I felt like I was in some sort of dystopian movie. But on to those recovery numbers, and numbers in general…

    What’s difficult to quantify, from what I understand, is that there are numbers of people infected but who show no symptoms, and those who have recovered but who have tested positive again. Plus we don’t know what the long term effects are, if any. So, “recovered” and “infected” are ballpark figures because we can’t trust the numbers out of particular countries – AND there are plenty of cases where it is mild enough to not bother going to a hospital, so they are never documented, right?

    What’s also interesting is looking at the recovered and death rates of different countries. S. Korea and the US right now do not have a good death to recovery rate (half), but other countries do???

    I’m still placing my hopes on hotter climates with lower virus rates though, and with the warmer weather things will calm down. Sighhhh.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha yes, a dystopian movie indeed – especially in ‘dark mode’ on the mac!
      Completely agree with your point. The numbers of infected people would be much higher because of the asymptomatic cases and others who would test positive but only have mild symptoms and would rather be shot in the head that go into a coughing, spluttering waiting room. So with this large group of people off the books you’ll never really know how deeply the virus is spreading but perhaps these less virulent strains will deliver useful antibodies around the place, assuming the virus is happily mutating — so possibly not a bad thing? Who knows..
      You can be sure though that mortality calculations are way off the mark because of the incomplete picture of infections….I think so anyway but nobody has ever paid me for my epidemiological observations so there’s that haha

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Fingers crossed. Thailand has 140k illegal workers in S. Korea on the way home because S.K. doesn’t want to be responsible for their health – and of course, they are mostly coming from Daegu.

        Liked by 1 person

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