Authors Note; As always and especially now follow the links and do your own research, believing Random people on the internet has you locked in your house. This is in no way meant to diminish the serious plight of the Ecuadorian people or their grief and pain. It is meant to show that the situation there should not be influencing policy in other places. My thoughts are with the people effected by this and I’m sorry if the title is insensitive that is not the intent.
So the latest round of “we’re all going to die ” TV has been released. National Public Radio veritably frothing with dread relates
“Ecuador is one of the smallest countries in South America but it is dealing with one of the region’s worst outbreaks of COVID-19, with more than 3,100 identified infections and 120 deaths.” npr April 3 2020
The article then conspiratorially suggests that “Many suspect there are more deaths than the official count.” We are left to work out who these “many” are and how they know this.
So lets unpack this tale of disaster.
The outbreak is confined almost exclusively to the port city of Pacific port city of Guayaquil. This is important because the 3.2 billion in Chinese imports that Ecuador receives yearly would arrive at this port.
“Human population movements or upheavals,
caused by migration or war, are often important
factors in disease emergence…the
newly introduced infection would have the opportunity
to spread locally among the population and
could also spread further along highways and interurban
transport routes “…
Factors in the Emergence of
Stephen S. Morse, Ph.D.
Three important consequences of global transport network expansion are infectious disease pandemics, vector invasion events and vector-borne pathogen importation. This review briefly examines some of the important historical examples of these disease and vector movements, such as the global influenza pandemics,”..
Global Transport Networks and Infectious Disease Spread
“Large cities overseas with close transport links to China could potentially also become outbreak epicenters because of substantial spread of pre-symptomatic cases “……
In the NPR article actually admits to yet another reason that this is not actually a result of the continent hoping virulence of Covid-19 but due to the fact thousands of people travel between Ecuador and Spain and Italy and that one of these “seasonal migrations” was underway,
“In addition, the city sends thousands of migrant workers and exchange students to Italy and Spain, two of the countries hardest hit by the new corona virus.
“A lot of people were returning to Ecuador to stay on vacation with their families. So there were a lot of people coming from Italy and Spain,” Roldós said.”..NPR
Maybe stopping those flights would have helped. Is that racist since they are all Latino’s ? Its a confusing world
So lets look at the catastrophic death toll. First some perspective. Ecuador was a country of 17,084,358 in 2018. It has an annual mortality rate listed at
So, and please check my math, that would mean that 87 130 Ecuadorians die per year or 244 per day. So one wonders how in fact the current numbers are overwhelming at all.
In fact in 2017 Ecuador had a recorded death rate from Influenza of 38.7 for 100 000 people or 6611 people in that year or 18 a day. So again a little hard to understand how the system is collapsing. In fact the Mayor echoes this,
“Still, even Guayaquil’s mayor, Cynthia Viteri, seemed shocked by the apocalyptic scenes of cadavers in the streets. “What is happening to the public health system in this country?” she demanded”.
Whatever is actually happening in Ecuador is a result of their close ties to China, Italy and Spain not one but three hot-spots.
The other issue with the idea of a massive outbreak of SARS-Cov2 in Ecuador at the moment is Temperature and even more importantly Humididty. Influenza has traditionally not been a huge issue in Tropical regions for this reason. So lets do some science.
“We found that low relative humidities of 20%–35% were most favorable, while transmission was completely blocked at a high relative humidity of 80%. Furthermore, when guinea pigs were kept at 5 °C, transmission occurred with greater frequency than at 20 °C, while at 30 °C, no transmission was detected. Our data implicate low relative humidities produced by indoor heating and cold temperatures as features of winter that favor influenza virus spread.”…
“One degree Celsius increase in temperature and one percent increase in relative humidity lower R by 0.0383 and 0.0224, respectively. This result is consistent with the fact that the high temperature and high humidity significantly reduce the transmission of influenza. It indicates that the arrival of summer and rainy season in the northern hemisphere can effectively reduce the transmission of the COVID-19. We also developed a website to provide R of major cities around the world according to their daily temperature and relative humidity.”…..
So the outbreak is obviously tied to the close relationship Ecuador has with China, Italy and Spain. It is unlikely in the extreme that it will spread much beyond the imedate area and will cease once travel is restricted to the aforementioned hot zones.
Don’t buy the hype.
Stay Safe Stay Free