There has been much discussion recently about what might be the Infection Fatality Rate of the coronavirus. But of course the IFR is highly dependent upon whether the medical care system is functioning or is turning away patients in the parking lot. Furthermore, if it is functioning, it is, hopefully, improving over time.
The more the medical system can do for Chinese virus victims, the less you want to see the the medical care system overwhelmed. But here are questions I don’t know the answer for: How much good has the medical care system done so far for infected people? Is medical care getting better? Is it likely to improve a lot before there is a vaccine?
There are basically 5 levels of medical care for infected people:
1. None: Stay home, don’t see a doctor
2. See a doctor, go back home
How have the treatments changed in effectiveness over time versus expectations? My guess is that ventilators have proven less effective than was hoped. However, Hospitalization and ICU (Boris Johnson got both, but not a ventilator) may have improved: the discovery of “proning” with non-intrusive oxygen treatment may have improved recovery rates.
Has hydroxychloroquine helped levels 2 and 3? My impression is that it doesn’t do much good for Level 5, but might work pretty well for less severe levels. Has hydroxychloroquine gotten into wide enough use to impact overall IFR rates?