Cuenca High Life logo

Expat Life

What’s ahead for expats after coronavirus — in Ecuador, in Cuenca and around the world?

By Liam Higgins

One expert predicts Cuenca will continue to attract expats because of its quality infrastructure and cultural sophistication.

And just as important: “Will a lot of expats go back to their home countries?”

Post-pandemic, travel will be more difficult for all expats.

Another issue emerging is the imposition of travel restrictions between countries. “We saw it this week when the EU announced that residents of most countries, including the U.S., will not be permitted to enter EU countries,” Masters says. “This is a situation that could continue for a year or more.”

So, what is the future for retiree expats and younger people moving overseas looking for new opportunities?

“According to Masters and John Holtz, a half-time Cuenca expat, there is more than one answer to the question. “Within a year or two, I expect the number of older, voluntary expats to actually increase,” says Masters. “One reason is economic conditions in North America and Europe. In the coming recession, many people will take a financial hit and some of them will be looking to relocate to places with lower costs of living.”

Holtz, a former sociology professor who studied international migration, agrees but says there could be a minor outflow of foreigners before the next wave of newcomers arrive. “Retirees living overseas, like everyone else, are rattled by the pandemic and some of them are unsure of their futures. I think some will go home to be closer to family and familiar health care options but I don’t see a mass exodus. In Cuenca, I know of two couples who returned to the U.S. before lockdown to be near doctors and hospitals they knew.”

Two recent polls of expats, one in Mexico and a second in Spain, suggest that few intend to go home. “In Mexico, five percent said they planned to leave while four percent in Spain said they would,” says Holtz. “About the same number said they intended to spend more time in their home country but did not plan to give up their foreign addresses.”

So what about expats in Cuenca and Ecuador?

“I think we’ll follow the international trends and it’s possible Ecuador will attract more new expats that other countries because of its low cost of living and the use of the U.S. dollar,” Holtz says. “Life here is comfortable for most expats and the travel distance and expense back to North America is manageable.”

About Cuenca specifically, Holtz believes the expat community will expand. “This is a good place to be and it was getting better, in my opinion, before the pandemic hit,” he says. “In the last five or six years, the city has attracted more Europeans and fewer North American retirees, the city’s foreign affairs office tells us. I think this will continue but I also expect, for economic reasons, a rebound in the number of U.S. citizens moving here. I think Cuenca and Quito will attract the largest number of new expats to Ecuador because of the quality of infrastructure, cultural sophistication and ease of travel”

One concern for Holtz before the pandemic was the financial crisis Ecuador faces because of low oil prices and other factors. “Suddenly, that seems less important as the entire world will experience a pretty bad recession. The playing field has been leveled, so to speak, and expats will understand that there will be a few years of hard times. Yes, things will be bad in Ecuador but we’ll have a lot of company.”

Expats in Ecuador and elsewhere could also face changes in immigration policies. “I expect to see more health requirements develop out of the Covid crisis both in terms of health insurance and in entry requirements. I think countries could exclude applicants with serious health problems and they may add maximum age limits. This will be more the case in Europe than in Latin America, I think.”

One group of expats that may be reduced in number by the pandemic are what Masters refers to as “tourist expats.” Travel will be difficult for many months, maybe years, to come, he says. “Unfortunately, air travel in particular will be a major pain in the ass for a while and part of the joy of travel will be lost. I think expats who do a lot of traveling, relocating from country to country, will be affected by this ‘new normal’ and their numbers will decline.”

59 thoughts on “What’s ahead for expats after coronavirus — in Ecuador, in Cuenca and around the world?

  1. Glad to see the mysterious “Liam” back with a bang. I think everything said sounds sensible and in line with IL’s editorial position which we defer to. The only thing I wonder is whether we will be hearing more stories of expats getting Covid and/or being robbed.

    1. Doesn’t sound like IL to me– they never go this deep into anything. Yeah, expats get covid like everyone else and some of them get robbed although I’ve been here for 12 years and escaped both.

      1. I have been here 34 years, and never had any problems of any kind til Feruary of this year, when some “foreign persons” stole my 17yr old Gran Vitara….so far, no Covid, but I am very cautious when I go out.

  2. Thanks Liam. Good overview. I’ve heard some people speculating that expats will go home but why would they? I agree that there may more coming down when the pandemic is over but I hope it’s not many. I agree tourism will drop although it was never that important to Cuenca.

    1. but why would they?

      No one knows, but potentially:

      1) oil exports are basically worthless at the current price.
      2) Ecuador is heavily indebt and is going to be cutting back on public spending / infrastructure as per IMF requirements
      3) Poverty is going to increase in general and extreme poverty.

      4) With (3) comes petty crime increases
      5) IESS is facing a crisis, expect contributions rise. No idea of how true, but I think I read on here (CHL) that things got heated with expats when they found their IESS was going to be means tested and going to rise. Not sure how indicative this is across the board, but the report made it sound that some were angry they couldn’t turn up in later life when health care requirements is higher and expected to contribute a little having put nothing into the pot their working lives and enjoy complete health care
      6) Prices on everything will rise as fuel prices rise consistently

      7) Protests and strikes are likely to increase in number and severity
      8) Government may see expats as a source of income and make it more expensive for them to be here

      No one knows for sure how the next couple of years will be, but things are not looking good for Ecuador, which **could** have an effect on expat numbers

      1. Of course! People just want to look the other way …. everything is happy and Pepe and bursting with love.

        1. If they try that 21% tax on a couples S/S, expats won’t stay. USA doesn’t tax S/S, unless you have additional income.

      2. Sounds good. Make expats pay more. It’ll separate the wheat from the chaff. Hopefully, it’ll drive the economic refugees from the land. Maybe the embarrassing complainers will simply return to Canada. Or Colorado. Or Californicatia.

        1. I’ll return to Canada, then go to Europe then if the boarder is open I might even go to the greatest land in the world the United States, where I used to live, before I made the best move of my life and went to Canada. Big difference, between the two countries. One has a functional government, that the citizens trust, one has next to no violence, one has very few gun deaths, one has very few gangs, one has next to no inner city slums and one has a better social structure, that’s very much inclusive and welcoming.
          I’m sorry maybe you’re viewing this as embarrassing or complaining, if I lived in one of those two countries, I too would feel embarrassed and I too would be complaining. Especially while I was under the dilution of greatness.

          1. Speaking of “dilutions” (sic), have you revised your boarder-line (sic) dilutional (sic) prediction of 42 million Covid-19 deaths in the United States, especially in light of this news showing that although the number of cases is rapidly growing, the number of deaths is steadily declining?

            They’re even using your vaunted Worldometer statistics, Mike. Ooops.

            Yeah, I know — Spanish flu, three more years, yada, yada, yada.

            1. Again, you asked a hypothetical question, what if nothing changes how many will die, and I answered… have you changed your original statement that this is no more deadly or different than the flu. And the number of deaths should be declining, we are smart monkeys and learn as we go… at least some of us are and do. The rest follow the conspiracies… and cherry pick what they want to what’s the latest conspiracy, do you have any ripe cherries ready for the picking? Will you be going to the land of the free (sic) soon? Only 50,000 new cases per day, hows that herd immunity going? Less than 10% of the population so far, only another 70% needed before it’s plausible. How many conspiracies need to be disproven before you and your buddies start looking at the science and listening to the doctors… are you still peddling your line that this isn’t deadly and we need to get out there and get the economy going? Like I said to you before, yes we need to open up but we need to have all the procedures in place,, thanks to fox, trump and you, that never happened. Its just going to disappear… ya, in another two and a half years… pray for a vaccine, that’s what will save the economy now… there’s only one thing worse than a sick (sic) worker, that’s a dead (ded) worker…

              1. Nothing hypothetical about it, Mr. “Just Numbers, No Propaganda” — it’s your vaunted Worldometer numbers staring you squarely in the face. Please let me know when your (sic) ready for a HandiWipe to remove all the egg from your face.

                And gee, Mike, I’m so sorry that the number of people dying is nowhere near your dilutional (sic) predictions, but hey, there are reports that a case of bubonic plague has been confirmed in Inner Mongolia. []

                Now that’s something new to keep your scaremongering at fever pitch. The Spanish Flu’s small potatoes compared to the Black Death.

                1. Downplay whatever you like, herd immunity has been taken off the table and your grand experiment is well underway. 200,000 dead by October is what they are saying with over two more years of this to go. You are spreading misconceptions and half truths. The cnn article (quoting the lancet) that calls out herd immunity also states 4.6% death rate which is exactly what I have been estimating using the estimated asymptomatic cases.
                  Keep reading Alex Jones conspiracies, as they fall to the scrap heap you’ll need to find new ones to replace them.. as they fall one by one you’ll have no choice but to eat the crow you are slow roasting… 200,000 by October,
                  I remember the good old days, when you were saying how this virus is nothing and just going to fade away…. when you were spouting that it’s not even as deadly as the flu… do you remember those days when you proudly spouted off the propaganda of the day… yes I remember too. Go ahead keep pushing…do the math yourself, quit reading cherry picked articles from quacks that are deceiving people…

                  1. Quoting the mantra you previously repeated ad nauseam: “Worldometers, no propaganda, no op eds, no bias…. just numbers with no agenda.”

                    Care for a Handi-Wipe?

                2. Knowledge is not scaremongering, it gives people the freedom to get on with life with their eyes wide open, to take the proper precautions and protect their families. Misrepresentation of that knowledge, denies people that opportunity, stop useing your flawed articles that are denying knowledge to some vulnerable people. It is helping this virus to spread. You! are assisting this virus to spread. Do the math for yourself, my numbers are correct. I’ll even give you the formulas, you can show me where they are wrong…

                  1. I’m using your hallowed Worldometer numbers, Mike. It is *you* who is misrepresenting the facts, not me.

                    “Worldometers, no propaganda, no op eds, no bias…. just numbers with no agenda.”


                    1. Exactly which facts am I misrepresenting, Freddy?
                      I’m estimating the death rate at 4.6%, that’s very much in line with all the data.
                      I’ve stated that there will be 200,000 US death, by years end, others are saying by October.
                      I’ve stated that if procedure isn’t followed the rate of infection will dramatically increase, it is… 3,000,000 cases and climbing at 50,000 per day, will this number go higher, potentially depending on the actions of the people. How high, is 100,000 per day possible, sure it’s possible… you’ll have to work harder if you’d like to hit that high water mark.. lots of people listening to Jones, Trump and then there’s all the little players, like you.

                      What is being misrepresented?
                      You obviously, don’t want to believe the facts that are staring at you. This is a dangerous virus, it is growing, it can, leave lasting damage, kill or do nothing at all. It’s spread can be controlled by simple measures if they are followed. What’s so difficult here? The facts are simply not behind you.
                      What numbers have you calculated? Oh you haven’t, you need to have someone else do the work, then you count on that person being accurate. If you do the math for yourself, then you can easily see who is honest and who isn’t.

                  2. See also my reply to Dana Koch’s comment posted today on this thread at It references an article that I would highly encourage you to read (Second Wave? Not Even Close at [ ]).

                    Read it, then I’ll be happy to send you a large case of Handi-Wipes.

                1. I’m aware of what it means, are you aware of what I used it for?
                  Again I’ll state, I hope my numbers are wrong, but so far they aren’t, and I don’t know why your stating that I’m disappointed, I’m saddened and mad at the lousy job your president has done in controlling this disaster. I’m also disappointed in the BS that is being flung around out there for any individual that can’t do the calculations for themselves to cling too like they just fell off the titanic. My math is good, deal with it, the numbers prove themselves. 200,000 deaths ( I estimated, by the new year, if no vaccine is created before then) they are saying by October, with over 3,000,000 cases and growing at 50,000 cases per day… no egg for me, but you feel free to help yourself… enjoy. BTW did you look up the article about the guy that had a leg amputated and had a pacemaker installed before he died at 41 from complications related to covid… I wonder how many lives your conspiracies are going to affect….

                  1. BTW, did you look up the article about the guy who lost his job because of the Covid lockdown, went berserk, murdered his wife, molested his kids then killed them, and then went on a machete-wielding rampage through his neighborhood?

                    Quoting a well-known, always objective and well-informed authority: “No cherry-picked articles… just random ones that show exactly what I’ve been saying.”

                    C’mon Mike. Gimme a bleepin’ break. Project much?

                  1. You’re like a child who covers his ears and loudly shouts “La, la, la, la, la” to avoid hearing voices he wishes to drown out. You grossly and intentionally misrepresent what I have said in the past and what I continue to say.

                    You ask:

                    Exactly which facts am I misrepresenting, Freddy? I’m estimating the death rate at 4.6%, that’s very much in line with all the data.

                    I have repeatedly argued that the death rate you insist on embracing is orders of magnitude higher than reality and is intentional deception and fearmongering. You ignore scientific consensus regarding the true IFR which is what I have argued from the outset of our debate. Although I know you’ll just cover your ears or chant “Jones. Trump, conspiracy” ad infinitum, try opening your eyes and mind for a change [quoted from How Deadly Is The Coronavirus? Scientists Are Close To An Answer published in that vaunted conspiracy rag, Nature Magazine 16 June 2020]:

                    Data from early in the pandemic overestimated how deadly the virus was, and then later analyses underestimated its lethality. Now, numerous studies — using a range of methods — estimate that in many countries some 5 to 10 people will die for every 1,000 people with COVID-19.“The studies I have any faith in are tending to converge around 0.5–1%”

                    Like Neil Ferguson, your first estimates of US deaths (42 million) were off-the-charts wrong. Like Ferguson, you subsequently revised those numbers down, then down more. Now you have backfit your model to comport with facts-on-the-ground and ask for approbation. You’ll get none from me.

                    My argument from the outset has been that those most at risk should have been the ones voluntarily quarantined and that the lengthy total shutdown was foolhardy, unwise, backasswards, and horribly destructive. I argued that those not in the high risk cohort should not have been forced to quedate en casa but rather should have been allowed to operate exactly as we are all doing now, i.e., with reasonable precautionary measures. You seem to have come around to that same position as well, finally relenting on your previous insistence on lockdown until a vaccine was perfected and available.

                    So on that point, at least we agree.

                    But then, you prattle on:

                    I’ve stated that if procedure isn’t followed the rate of infection will dramatically increase, it is… 3,000,000 cases and climbing at 50,000 per day, will this number go higher, potentially depending on the actions of the people. How high, is 100,000 per day possible, sure it’s possible… you’ll have to work harder if you’d like to hit that high water mark.. lots of people listening to Jones, Trump and then there’s all the little players, like you.

                    The point I made — and which you continue to avoid despite your misguided attempt at insults — is that yes, *I AGREE*, the number of cases IS rapidly increasing. No argument. But at the same time, the death rate is dropping. Take a look at the graph of the US daily death rate on your hallowed Worldometer no-propaganda-no-op eds-no bias…just-numbers-with-no-agenda website. Do you not see the obvious sustained decline, despite the spiking number of new cases?

                    Why deny the unadulterated facts staring you in the face? Should we go back into lockdown, Professor Ferguson, because the case numbers are growing? What exactly is your solution, given that lockdowns cause as much as 29 times more deaths than lives saved:

                    If South Africa’s present economically restrictive lockdown measures are not discontinued immediately, they may cause 29 times more deaths than the measures aim to prevent. And each week of continuing lockdown will, in the long run, cause more loss of life than the virus itself. That is the stark message in a report delivered to President Cyril Ramaphosa by Pandemic Data and Analytics (Panda), a multidisciplinary initiative co-ordinated by actuary Nick Hudson, chief executive of private equity firm, SANA Partners.

                    [ ]

                    Your approach seems to be to keep repeating that the sky is falling, it’s all Trump’s fault, and that although you think we should all stay locked up in our homes until a vaccine miraculously appears, you reluctantly concede that we should only venture out when necessary and that we must all live in a constant state of fear despite the fact that CV-19 has now conclusively been shown to be not anywhere near the risk for the average non-compromised person that you and others of your persuasion keep scaremongering.

                    THAT’S what you are misrepresenting, Mike.

                    FWIW, I’m long Handi-Wipes. Something tells me you’re going to be using a pantload of them…

    2. It’s always been our plan to travel, now after this pandemic. Travelling will be more troublesome, so we have changed just like he suggested, we will spend time back in NA and will drive across the continent rather than fly. We’ll only fly when we have to. Can’t drive across the ocean…

  3. Yes, the truth is that the lockdown is a little boring but essentially fine for the expats. My beloved insurance agent Daniela texts every week or two to see if she can get me anything, so does my equally beloved facilitator Karla. Trying not to be selfish, we have donated to the city, and have tried to support the economy by buying chocolate, seafood, quiche, and everything else offered by anybody who is trying to save a business, and by ordering specially made rocking chairs where we sit on our balcony and admire our flowers, which have bloomed throughout. We have identified new delivery sources, who bring us everything that grows, given a day or two. I just sit here and think, “I know! Basil! I want to make pesto!” Or, “We should be squeezing our own orange juice! I need five oranges every day!” Depending on what it is, Yolanda or else Del Fructas y Verduras or Gran Roca soon brings it to us, bouncing fresh and at low cost. Camilo and Yolanda deliver dozens of roses so I have spent the lockup experimenting with rose sachets (didn’t work though). The only single thing Ecuador has done I did not like, is more or less outlaw hydroxychloraquine. But I got around that by buying cinchona bark in case of emergencies. Also I miss Mass, but … that error is not only here, and as to that, I think the Ecuadoreans are more sympathetic than the mayors of New York and Washington.

    1. Yes, too bad for us. god told us that hydroxychloroquine (correct spelling) was a panacea. but those damned people that actually believe in real science told us he wasn’t god. What a shame for us, right?

  4. The quantity and quality of an area’s expat community might also be a factor as one decides what foreign country to move to. As expats decide to leave for whatever reason, the community weakens causing more to leave – like a snowball.

    1. I would expect more are leaving than coming. Of course nobody has ever had any good numbers on how many are here, so we have to go off of anecdotal evidence such as Gringopost ads.

      1. Anecdotal evidence is always the best sort of evidence. Far superior to bogus science. God is good.

        1. > God is good.
          Technically god is 3/4 good and 1/3 bad. Obviously God wasn’t good at maths 🙂

  5. My wife and I have been traveling back and forth from Cuenca to the USA for 45 years. Because of Covid our living in Cuenca 8 months a year and 4 months in our other home in the USA has had to be reevaluated. For the first time in 10 years we will not return to Cuenca in September and we will not be visiting Europe. Instead we will stay in the USA to be close to our children and grandchildren ( even thought we can’t touch them) until a vaccine is available. In addition air travel is almost impossible as flights are limited and frequently cancelled. I assume there are many others who will be doing the same.

    1. We have a second mike, I’m certain travel to and from the US will be restricted if not banned shortly, it’s a complete show of incompetence in government there. No leadership or parameters set from the top and therefore no guidance from the states. If someone tried to implement any guidance that was quickly jumped on as counterproductive especially if it was a democratic governor or mayor. How is all of that working out? Remember in November…

        1. What is bogus, they have banned travel to EU by US. Or that trump did that, what look at his tweets from back then… nothing bogus there…
          Or maybe you don’t believe there’s a second mike…

  6. Covid is just getting started … save your delusional childish wishes re the post covid world for a bit … right now no person knows anything about how this will play out.

    1. Excerpt from a letter to the editor of the Orlando Medical News written by Dr. Thomas Littell, MD:

      Fear is a powerful weapon. FDR famously broadcast to Americans in 1933 that “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself”. I would argue that we have to fear those who would have us remain fearful and servile and willing to surrender basic freedoms without justification.

      You should read his letter in its entirety. It is a small part of the lengthy and fact-filled article entitled Second Wave? Not Even Close posted here: [ ]

      Excerpt from the opening paragraphs:

      Why did politicians ever lockdown society in the first place? Can we all agree that the stated purpose was to “flatten the curve” so our hospital system could handle the inevitable COVID-19 patients who needed care? At that point, at least, back in early March, people were behaving rationally. They accepted that you can’t eradicate a virus, so let’s postpone things enough to handle it.

      The fact is, we have done that, and so much more.

      The headlines are filled with dire warnings of a “second wave” and trigger-happy Governors are rolling back regulations to try to stem the tide of new cases. But, is any of it actually true and should we all be worried? No, it’s not a second wave.

      The COVID-19 virus is on its final legs, and while I have filled this post with graphs to prove everything I just said, this is really the only graph you need to see, it’s the CDC’s data, over time, of deaths from COVID-19 here in the U.S., and the trend line is unmistakable:

      (see the article for the graph)

      It’s the same thing that Dr. Sunetra Gupta, Professor of Theoretical Epidemiology at University of Oxford theorized two months ago: The coronavirus epidemic is on its way out: [ ]

      If you’re immunocompromised or in the high risk cohort, by all means, quedate en casa and protect yourself. Otherwise, relax and cut the fearmongering nonsense.

      1. You used to actually say something now I just feel sorry for you. That’s a nice thesis you’ve written, the length doesn’t make it fact, and just because you don’t like the facts won’t change the truth.
        covid death rate by percentage
        These are random, not cherry picked… they are right in line with the real death rate of 4.5% from Johns Hopkins, I’m personally calculating 4.6%
        What have you calculated and do you need help with the math? It’s easy to find what you want to see….. that doesn’t make it fact.
        My eyes are wide open to the truth, once you do the calculation for yourself there is no way to be lied to, and you are trying to lie to me… and convince everyone else your lies are truth… I won’t allow it, it is dangerous…
        200,000 deaths soon, are you going to argue that fact as well, 3,000,000 cases and adding 50,000 new cases per day how about arguing with that fact,,,, this isn’t going away, and it is killing people, what you are doing by propagating this is negligent and will cause more cases and more suffering… get your act together, start being a part of the solution.
        And yes there is a decline, we are smart monkeys and learn as we go, we have dropped the death rate by almost 0.6% that’s a good start now it’s all the way down to 4.5%.

        1. Don’t feel sorry for me, Mike.

          Read the article.

          Then try to argue with the facts staring you squarely in the face. Or do you ever read anything that challenges your tightly held confirmation bias?

          You really should try it sometime — it’s what forms the very basis of the scientific method.

          The people you should feel sorry for are close-minded individuals who never listen to opposing viewpoints and are too insecure in their own beliefs to ever examine them objectively without fear of being proven wrong.

          There’s a famous quote from a letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote to his nephew, Peter Carr regarding this principle but since you are wont to criticize the length of other’s comments, I’ll leave it to you to look it up yourself rather than extending this post beyond your attention span: [ ]

          1. Yes I read them, they do not fit the math. If you do the math for yourself then try to justify what those stories are saying you’ll understand. You can’t force the round peg into that square hole. I understand that you don’t like the reality and are desperately looking for someone that says what you want to believe but that’s just not where we are. We are in the middle of a pandemic that is killing 45 people out of every 1000 that acquire it and no amount of literature is changing that fact. The only question is how many asymptomatic cases are there. If it is 80% then the numbers drop. If it is lower 50% then that number goes up, testing is the only way to find that number… until then wear a mask and wash your hands, continue praying for a vaccine and stay safe. Again, if you would like help doing the math I’m more than happy to help you with it.

            1. An IFR of 0.5%-1% translates to between 5 and 10 deaths per thousand, not 45. Once again, your math is wrong because your inputs are wrong. GIGO, Mike.

              1. The numbers don’t match that, Johns Hopkins and worldometers both give the same data and when I do the calculations they come up to 4.5% matching all those random sites I have posted in my posts. Have you looked at all of those or do you not want to see the truth? They are all confirming what I am telling you, just google “covid death rate by percentage” and take any one you like they all show 4-6% right in line with my calculation… again do the calculations yourself, then we don’t have to keep going through this. You can try to tell me the sky is green all you want, I know it’s blue… don’t you think that if it was lower than the death rate from the flu we would all be out in the street mask free… it’s not and quit trying to sell it because the numbers don’t back you or PC up, the truth is you don’t want it to be true, so like a drowning man your grasping at anything you can…. anything that makes you feel better… when the numbers get better I’ll post it.

                1. I’ve repeated this at least a dozen times but it doesn’t seem to get through. You are citing CFR (Case Fatality Rate) and I am citing IFR (Infection Fatality Rate). These are dramatically different values and are the reason I keep telling you that your numbers are wrong and grossly misrepresent the true lethality of SARS Co-V2. Yes, the CFR is roughly 4.5% but that only considers the confirmed cases, not *all* cases and therefore makes it appear that CV-19 is far more lethal than it truly is.

                  If you bothered to read any of the articles I’ve posted (as you claim to have done), you would have understood this. So, one more time (and I apologize for the length in advance since you have a problem with that), here are germane excerpts from the article in that radical, right-wing, conspiracy theory rag called Nature Magazine that I cited previously:

                  One of the most crucial questions about an emerging infectious disease such as the new coronavirus is how deadly it is. After months of collecting data, scientists are getting closer to an answer.

                  Researchers use a metric called infection fatality rate (IFR) to calculate how deadly a new disease is. It is the proportion of infected people who will die as a result, including those who don’t get tested or show symptoms.

                  “The IFR is one of the important numbers alongside the herd immunity threshold, and has implications for the scale of an epidemic and how seriously we should take a new disease,” says Robert Verity, an epidemiologist at Imperial College London. (emphasis mine)…

                  Data from early in the pandemic overestimated how deadly the virus was,
                  and then later analyses underestimated its lethality. Now, numerous
                  studies — using a range of methods — estimate that in many countries
                  some 5 to 10 people will die for every 1,000 people with COVID-19. “The studies I have any faith in are tending to converge around 0.5–1%,” says Russell…

                  Some of the first indications of the virus’s deadliness were gleaned from the total number of confirmed cases in China. In late February, the World Health Organization crudely estimated that 38 people had died for every 1,000 with confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses.

                  The death rate among these people — known as the case fatality rate (CFR) — reached as high as 58 out of 1,000 in Wuhan, the city where the
                  virus emerged. But such estimates exaggerated the disease’s deadliness
                  because they did not account for the many people who had the virus but
                  were not tested, obscuring the outbreak’s true spread.

                  Researchers tried to address this gap by estimating the IFR from models that projected the virus’s spread. The result from these early analyses hovered around 0.9% — 9 deaths for every 1,000 people infected — with a broader range of 0.4–3.6%, says Verity. His own modelling estimated an overall IFR for China of 7 deaths for every 1,000 people infected, increasing to 33 per thousand among those aged 60 or older…

                  Kilpatrick and others say they are eagerly awaiting large studies that estimate fatality rates across age groups and among those with pre-existing health conditions, which will provide the most accurate picture of how deadly the disease is. One of the first studies to account for the effect of age was posted on a preprint server last week. The study, based on seroprevalence data from Geneva, Switzerland, estimates an IFR of 0.6% for the total population, and an IFR of 5.6% for people aged 65 and older.

                  The results have not been peer reviewed, but Kilpatrick says the study addresses many of the issues in previous seroprevalence surveys. “This study is fantastic. It’s precisely what should be done with all of the serological data,” he says.

                  Using your terminology, I’m looking at the sky and saying that it is blue. You’re looking at the ground and trying to tell me that the sky is green.

              2. This chart shows the virus throughout its discovery, it was at 6.3% and now it shows the death rate at around 4%. This is a good drop and who knows maybe in a few months it’ll drop even another percent or even two, and I’ll be very happy to see that, but it’s just not there right now.

                1. Read the heading above the chart, Mike. It says CASE Fatality Rate (CFR), *NOT* INFECTION Fatality rate (IFR).

                2. Read the disclaimer and explanation re CFR vs IFR on the same page you referenced on the Our World In Data page:

                  What we want to know isn’t the case fatality rate: it’s the infection fatality rate

                  Before we look at what the CFR does tell us about the mortality risk, it is
                  helpful to see what it doesn’t. Remember the question we asked at the
                  beginning: if someone is infected with COVID-19, how likely is
                  it that they will die? The answer to that question is captured by the
                  infection fatality rate, or IFR…And, despite what some media reports imply, the CFR is not the same as – or, probably, even similar to – the IFR.

                  What you persist in putting forward (and proudly proclaim that your math agrees with Johns Hopkins, Our World in Data and Worldometer) is CASE fatality rate, not Infection Fatality Rate. And the narrative published by Our World In Data right next to the graph you pointed to explains quite clearly why CFR overstates the lethality of Covid and why IFR is the number that you should be seeking.

    2. “… right now no person knows anything about how this will play out.”
      There is plenty of evidence, current and historical, that gives very strong indication of likely trends. Indeed, if lockdowns and all the rest of it never happened, we’d probably be through it already. In any case, you can continue to hide under your bed if you like. Best to stay off the internet chatboards, however. The delusional childish fears have got you, and you really should think twice about putting them on display.

      1. Not a chance we would be sitting with Sweden and posting stories like the one from Spain that shows they haven’t and probably will never reach herd immunity… and you can bet I’m neither fearing or hiding, I’m going thru life with the knowledge of where I am walking and the potential of being killed by a virus, why would I fear the virus, will fear help? Why assume anyone that looks at the facts are living in fear? Why are you in denial, does it help? Why are you insisting that the government, scientists and health care professionals are wrong, aren’t they the experts? Does that help?

Comments are closed.