Preprint | COVID-19. Scenarios of a superfluous crisis

Abstract: Case fatality rates (CFR) have been critical in the emergence and management of the current COVID-19 crisis. This article presents a comparative map of CFR for the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and influenza (H1N1 and H2N2). The mapped data shows that current CFR of SARS-CoV-2 are considerably lower than, or similar to those, of hospitalized patients in the UK, Spain, Germany, or international samples. We therefore infer a possible risk that the virulence of the coronavirus is considerably overestimated due to sampling biases, and that increased testing might reduce the general CFR of SARS-CoV-2 to rates similar to, or lower than, those of the common seasonal influenza. We conclude that governments, health corporations, and health researchers must prepare for scenarios in which the affected populations cease to believe in the statistical foundations of the current COVID-19 crisis and interventions.

Keywords: COVID-19; coronavirus; influenza; case fatality rates; scenarios.

The full working paper is available for download here or at SSRN.

Suggested citation: Roth, S., Clausen, L., and Mueller, S. (2020) Covid-19. Scenarios of a superfluous crisis (March 30, 2020). Available at SSRN:

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