And the potential cost to the U.S. economy
“In the well-connected world of the 21st century, no country is isolated from the potential spread of infection,” emphasized scientists from Pilot Studies of Modeling of Infectious Disease Agents Study (MIDAS).
And the pandemic model was already prognosticated in 2007 by statistics and epidemiology experts. They examined the value of travel restrictions and predicted the impact. What was confirmed is that travel restrictions alone may produce a positive or negative effect. Why? We are dealing with a pandemic. The virus is affecting the whole world. The measure that may help to reduce the total number of cases in the U.S. must be implemented worldwide by drastically restricting flights by at least 95%.
The travel restrictions between some parts of the world will provide an insignificant delay to local epidemics. Regions will still be affected if no other preventive measures are completed, but the disease’s impact may be harmful if the delay increases the seasonality factors.
2020 epidemic introduction of novel coronavirus into the U.S. has already happened. Is the delay going to contain the number of new cases? Remember, all the planes were grounded in the United States after September 11, 2001? That measure delayed the seasonal influenza of 2001–2002 by two weeks.
Hundred-year timeline of novel viruses pandemics
The 2009 H1N1 Pandemic — CDC estimated that 151,700–575,400 people worldwide died in 12 months from (H1N1)pdm09 virus. 0.001 % to 0.007 % of the world’s population died of respiratory complications, according to the CDC. In the U.S, the H1N1 virus caused an estimated average of 60.8 million cases, 274,304 hospitalizations, and 12,469 deaths ( 0.02%).
The estimated number of deaths was 1 million worldwide and about 100,000 in the U.S. Most affected were people 65 years and older. Pandemic influenza mortality ranged from 0.03 % of the world’s population during the H3N2 pandemic.
About 500 million people ( 1/3 of the world’s population) became infected with H1N1. At least 50 million worldwide (10%) people died, with about 675,000 occurring in the U.S. During the 1918 H1N1 pandemic, up to 3 % of the world’s population died.
Public Library of Science published a pandemic modeling study. The study’s mathematical model evaluated the consequence of travel restrictions combined with other types of measures, such as quarantine, self-isolation, wearing masks, closing schools, etc.
Vaccination indeed reduces the total numbers of cases the most; travel restrictions provide the additional delay in epidemic growth
Individual actions are now the most essential :
- Sanitize your hands
- Zero handshakes
- Cancel unnecessary meetings
- Social isolation when possible
The 2005 study estimated the worst-case cost (economic activity is abandoned). The cost was around 0.8% of the $12 trillion U.S. GNP per year ( based on the available in 2005 data provided by U.S. Department of Commerce, Survey of Current Business).