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This time is different

Looking back on why I was so wrong about corona virus bet, here are some of the things I didn’t acconut for.

Compared to previous epidemics in the unitited states we have a lot older population. Here’s a comparison of 1920 to 2018 In 1920 2.7% of population was over 70 in 2018 9.8%. Over 55 was 8.2% in 1920 and 16.1% in 2018. This very vulnerable population barely existed when we last had a us pandemic.

We also I believe have increasingly compacted the 80 year olds into nursing homes which are exeptionally hard hit. While before they were exposed to immediate family they were fairly isolated there as opposed to being in high risk communal settings. Asia might not have moved as much to nursing homes as US/Europe?

We are also richer which seems good but it means we are more risk averse this increases our willingness to lock down (nobody is starving yet) and make us less likely to triage and do human trials. More on challenge testing from david friedman and Robin Hanson

Also I did mention I was worried about italy. New York essentially said “hold my beer and watch this”.