I've only been aware of that young German who returned home from his ski vacation in Austria and was put on a ventilator. Then they mentioned his age (55) and I facepalmed.
The news reporting really sucks. Almost always it's about total number of infections, increase to the day before, then number of deaths and increase to the day before. Given how many people are sitting at home these days, a ton of them is going to watch news on TV daily. When you get bombarded with that stuff all the time while important numbers keep getting omitted, then it's no surprise that more and more people are getting paranoid and buying up toilet paper, flour and whatever else seems necessary for survival.
Important numbers are how many of the infected have only mild or moderate symptoms and don't need to be hospitalized. If people got told every day that more than 90% of the infected are getting away easily, then more people would keep a cool head. But I guess it's easier to make people stay inside when you warp reality and instill a little fear.
News reporting always sucks. When here is a flood near you, you see the worst pictures on the news making your town look like a war zone. In reality it's a couple streets that are like that while 95% of the town is fine. The same applies here.
The real estimates are both reassuring and more scary. I don't know what's worse, the virus already being far more widespread or more lethal. The former is a lot more dangerous for my much at risk wife.
Comparing some of the estimates of the Imperial royal college for March 28th
discovered infected lower estimate upper estimate
Austria 3,451 31,759 273,482
Belgium 9,134 148,200 1,105,800
Denmark 2,201 22,412 173,693
France 37,575 736,890 4,957,260
Germany 57,695 245,812 1,490,220
Italy 92,472 1,935,360 15,724,800
They base the estimated true number of infections on estimated mortality rate combined with observed deaths. This is of course dependent on accurate recording of deaths and guess work what the actual mortality rate is. The lower/higher estimate are in the 95% credible interval, so a lot of guess work.
Also assuming it started as early as Januari 1st in Italy (80 days until March 28th), the lower estimate assumes a growth rate of 1.20x daily, the upper estimate 1.23x daily. Estimates upon estimates with a small difference in growth rates resulting in hugely different outcomes. Both btw more aggressive than the 1.164x growth rate based on R0 of 2.2 with medium incubation time of 5.2 days. But mean time to be infectious might be shorter and the reason they give for using a more aggressive growth model in the early stages is that the infection in Europe was imported, more seeds to start from which are already into their incubation period.
Anyway, what to make of these numbers, 10x to 80x more undetected cases with mild to no symptoms. Or from the closed cases in Italy, instead of 44% fatality rate, 2.1% to 0.26% fatality rate.
We simply do not know enough yet to make any accurate predictions :/
However the more widespread it actually is, the more important the measures are to slow it down. Although the upper estimate already has 26% of Italy infected, can only get 3x worse before it runs out of fuel to spread. Yet the lower estimate is 3.2% and it can still get 22x worse :/