Did SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) get unleashed in October 2019?

Did SARS-CoV-2 get unleashed in October 2019?

by Tom Lusch <TomLusch@me.com>

May 15, 2020

This is primarily an Ohio centric look at COVID-19 numbers utilizing a first case date of Oct 11, 2019.  That date is also considered at as to whether it makes sense in relationship to the SARS-CoV-2 virus outbreak that exploded in Wuhan, China in January 2020.  

The genesis of this writing is rooted in the feeling one experiences when what is currently, and what has been, reported, simply doesn't seem to add up or make sense.  

As I came across leaked videos from Chinese citizens in late January, as well as the propaganda that followed, it was obvious that something significant was happening in China.  A nation doesn’t suddenly decide to construct two entirely new hospitals in record time, to open within the first week of February, unless the need is dire.[1]

As I closely followed the news, it was frustrating to know this pandemic was most assuredly on its way to our shores, yet the news sources in the U.S. were giving it short shrift.  My first feeling that things simply weren’t adding up dealt with the fact that most other nations were seeing infections sprout up and grow substantially, yet here in the U.S. it appeared as though we were somehow keeping the virus at bay.  I wondered, “How can that be?  We have the most porous borders in the world.“  Later I came across an ABC News article that confirmed my thought that people traveling from China were likely seeding this nasty virus all over our country, as that article stated that in the period December thru February, there was a stunning 759,493 people who entered the U.S. from China![2]

Ohio's Governor Mike DeWine was one of the earliest of governors to "get ahead" of the virus that was headed our way.  His actions got everyone's attention when on March 4th he imposed restrictions on the Arnold Festival, which attracts physical fitness competitors from the world over.  DeWine was genuinely concerned about the spread of the virus here in the Buckeye State, and he wanted to keep it at bay.  

Before we know it, the director of the Ohio Department of Health, Dr. Amy Acton, was saying that they are thinking that 1% of Ohio’s population, or more than 100,000 of us, likely were already infected by this virus![3] That was March 12th…yet only 5 Ohioans had tested positive for the virus in our state at that time.  100,000 vs 5?  Again, things just weren’t adding up.  

Shortly thereafter, restrictions were being placed on Ohio's nursing homes, as well as prisons around the state.  Obviously they considered these facilities highly important to safeguard the elderly and the incarcerated from the virus.  Then, we learned K-12 schools were being closed as of March 16th.  A week later our statewide lockdown went into effect.

However, the day that all Ohio’s citizens were ordered to begin staying at home happened to be the day after the unmitigated curve was projected to have peaked.  It was Dr. Acton’s 4th slide from the press conference of March 30th that clearly indicated a projection of 62,000 cases per day on March 22nd.[4]  Strange.  

62,000 cases PER DAY!?  We had just begun to close the economy and distance ourselves from each other.  Currently, as I write this, we've only reached 26,954 total cases as of May 15th.[5]  Obviously, the expert’s estimates were off…by orders of magnitude.  Thankfully things turned out this way…but talk about things not adding up!

Did we Ohioans really do that incredibly well at distancing ourselves from each other…or is something else at play here?  How does one explain these disproportionate numbers?  

Here is another fact that creates questions in one’s mind.  As of 5/13/2020, 4,449 out of 7,541 prisoners have tested positive in Ohio's prisons.[6] That's a 59% infection rate!  Based upon the incredibly high infection rates one finds at Ohio's prisons, as well as the unfortunately high mortality rates at Ohio's nursing homes (as well as most nursing homes across the world), both of which had restrictive safeguards put into place here in Ohio before the general public lockdown, it seems that the SARS-CoV-2 virus somehow has managed to sneak past all the safeguards.  These high infection rates makes one wonder if nearly everyone may have already caught (or will soon catch) this dreaded virus.  

Could it be that this highly infectious virus had already established an incredibly firm foothold here in Ohio?  

That is precisely what this simplified analysis attempts to make sense of.  

My simple analysis utilizes R0 (known as “R-naught”), coupled with a six day rate for each R0 value.  

The reproduction rate of a disease can be affected by considerable variabilities.  For instance, population density has a major affect (think New York City, and close quarters like in prisons & nursing homes).  

As you look at the relationship of the three R-naught values in my simple analysis, understand that R0 is considered to be an overall average for our entire globe.  

COVID-19 R0 estimates do vary considerably.  However, I found some that were in agreement.  Wikipedia currently estimates R0 at 2 to 2.5.[7]  Also, a CDC abstract from an article states, “Initial estimates of the early dynamics of the outbreak in Wuhan, China, suggested a doubling time of the number of infected persons of 6–7 days and a basic reproductive number (R0) of 2.2–2.7.”[8]  Here in Ohio, The Columbus Dispatch reported that the "number of new cases appears to be doubling every six days.”[9]  Doubling in this case would mean an R0 value of 2.0, at six day intervals.  An excellent article that discusses the complexity of R0 can be found on the CDC site.[10]  

In my simple calculations, I compare R0 rates of 1.5, 2.0, and 2.5, all based on six day intervals.  Also, for this simple analysis, I consider the world to be homogeneous.  As I show those calculated number of infections, I also show the calculated number of infections for Ohio, based upon Ohio being 0.15% of the world’s population.  

My analysis utilizes simple BOTE & UOASC modeling[11], along with the KIS principle[12].  :)

Why did I use an onset date of Oct 11, 2019?  

On Maria Bartiromo "Sunday Morning Futures" show of Sunday, May 10, 2020, Senator Tom Cotton referred to a new analysis of publicly available cell phone data that points to what appears to be a shutdown, for several days, in the area surrounding the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in Oct 2019.  If that analysis of cell phone data is correct, that certainly leads one to think that something BIG must’ve happened there.  I’ve found two videos of that TV segment.[13][14]

The video by Virginia Birkofer [15] dated May 9, 2020, also provided a pointer to the analysis of cell phone data.[16] Thank you Virginia!

In the data below, the following constants were used:

Worldometers World population = 7,784,400,250 (5/14/2020 @09:15 EDT)

Worldometers United States Population = 330,754,312 (5/14/2020 @ 09:15 EDT)

Ohio population = 11,747,694 [17]

Worldometers data is also used for Total Cases numbers.[18]  

Ohio Total Cases were determined from the State of Ohio coronavirus “dashboard.”[5]

As one reviews the estimated infection numbers for the three replication rates, one will observe that an R0 of 1.5 significantly misses the mark with numbers that fall well below current confirmed infection rates.  On the other end of the spectrum, an R0 of 2.5 appears to look equally well out of bounds, as the numbers that are calculated with that factor result in infections exceeding the world's population as early as March 9th.  Interestingly, the R0 of 2.0 seems like it may be reasonable, and even that results in the Estimated Infections (Est Inf) to exceed the world's total population by April 26th.  It is also to be understood that the R0 factor will decrease as people become aware that there is an airborne bug going around.  Likewise, until that realization sinks in, the R0 will understandably be higher as no one takes any safeguards.  

When one looks at a timeline of the virus with respect to Wuhan, China, a seed date of Oct 11, 2019, in my opinion, makes absolutely perfect sense as the number of infected begin to rapidly increase.[19]  My thought is that exponential growth of a deadly virus doesn’t get one’s attention…until….it becomes too late.  

Considering how roughly 4 out of 5 people don't realize they have been affected by the coronavirus and thus spread it asymptomatically, and even those who do get ill spread it pre-symptomatically, in conjunction with how late it appears that we attempted to shield ourselves from this virus here in the U.S., in conjunction with what the few serology (testing for antibodies) blood tests in our country have hinted at thus far, I cannot help but believe that we may be much further along in this pandemic journey than we realize.  

Friday Oct 11, 2019 (Day 0)

R0=1.5 Est Inf = 1

R0=2.0 Est Inf = 1

R0=2.5 Est Inf = 1

Note: Possible Wuhan Institute of Virology incident on 10/11/2019. [13][14][15][16]

Thursday Oct 17, 2019 (Day 6)

R0=1.5 Est Inf = 1.5

R0=2.0 Est Inf = 2

R0=2.5 Est Inf = 2.5

Wednesday Oct 23, 2019 (Day 12)

R0=1.5 Est Inf = 2.25

R0=2.0 Est Inf = 4

R0=2.5 Est Inf = 6.25

Tuesday Oct 29, 2019 (Day 18)

R0=1.5 Est Inf = 3.375

R0=2.0 Est Inf = 8

R0=2.5 Est Inf = 15

Monday Nov 4, 2019 (Day 24)

R0=1.5 Est Inf = 5.0625

R0=2.0 Est Inf = 16

R0=2.5 Est Inf = 39

Sunday Nov 10, 2019 (Day 30)

R0=1.5 Est Inf = 7.59375

R0=2.0 Est Inf = 32

R0=2.5 Est Inf = 98

Saturday Nov 16, 2019 (Day 36)

R0=1.5 Est Inf = 11

R0=2.0 Est Inf = 64

R0=2.5 Est Inf = 244

Friday Nov 22, 2019 (Day 42)

R0=1.5 Est Inf = 17

R0=2.0 Est Inf = 128

R0=2.5 Est Inf = 610

Thursday Nov 28, 2019 (Day 48)

R0=1.5 Est Inf = 26

R0=2.0 Est Inf = 256

R0=2.5 Est Inf = 1,526

Wednesday Dec 4, 2019 (Day 54)

R0=1.5 Est Inf = 38 (Ohio 0.06)

R0=2.0 Est Inf = 512 (Ohio 0.77)

R0=2.5 Est Inf = 3,815 (Ohio 5.76)

Tuesday Dec 10, 2019 (Day 60)

R0=1.5 Est Inf = 58 (Ohio 0.09)

R0=2.0 Est Inf = 1,024 (Ohio 1.55)

R0=2.5 Est Inf = 9,537 (Ohio 14)

Monday Dec 16, 2019 (Day 66)

R0=1.5 Est Inf = 86 (Ohio 0.13)

R0=2.0 Est Inf = 2,048 (Ohio 3.09)

R0=2.5 Est Inf = 23,842 (Ohio 36)

Sunday Dec 22, 2019 (Day 72)

R0=1.5 Est Inf = 130 (Ohio 0.20)

R0=2.0 Est Inf = 4,096 (Ohio 6.18)

R0=2.5 Est Inf = 59,605 (Ohio 90)

Saturday Dec 28, 2019 (Day 78)

R0=1.5 Est Inf = 195 (Ohio 0.3)

R0=2.0 Est Inf = 8,192 (Ohio 12)

R0=2.5 Est Inf = 149,012 (Ohio 225)

Note: Hubei Timeline “Dec 29: Wuhan City government starts to trace cases”[19]

Friday Jan 3, 2020 (Day 84)

R0=1.5 Est Inf = 292 (Ohio 0.44)

R0=2.0 Est Inf = 16,384 (Ohio 25)

R0=2.5 Est Inf = 372,529 (Ohio 562)

Worldometers Total Cases = n/a

Official Ohio Total Cases = n/a

Note: Hubei Timeline “Jan 4: Shanghai lab detects coronavirus similar to SARS”[19]

Thursday Jan 9, 2020 (Day 90)

R0=1.5 Est Inf = 438 (Ohio 0.66)

R0=2.0 Est Inf = 32,768 (Ohio 49)

R0=2.5 Est Inf = 931,323 (Ohio 1,405)

Worldometers Total Cases = n/a

Official Ohio Total Cases = n/a

Note1: Hubei Timeline “Jan 7: Pathogen identified as novel coronavirus”[19]

Note2: “The earliest coronavirus cases in Ohio now date back to January, indicating COVID-19 might have been in the state and spreading here earlier than initially thought. Six people have reported feeling ill in January – as early as Jan. 7 – according to Ohio Department of Health data released Sunday.”[20]

Wednesday Jan 15, 2020 (Day 96)

R0=1.5 Est Inf = 657 (Ohio 1)

R0=2.0 Est Inf = 65,536 (Ohio 99)

R0=2.5 Est Inf = 2,328,306 (Ohio 3,514)

Worldometers Total Cases = n/a

Official Ohio Total Cases = 3*

Tuesday Jan 21, 2020 (Day 102)

R0=1.5 Est Inf = 985 (Ohio 1.5)

R0=2.0 Est Inf = 131,072 (Ohio 198)

R0=2.5 Est Inf = 5,820,766 (Ohio 8,784)

Worldometers Total Cases = n/a

Official Ohio Total Cases = 5*

Note1: Hubei Timeline “Jan 19: Pulmonologist Nanshan Zhong announces human-to-human spread”[19]

Note2: Hubei Timeline “Jan 20: Annual Spring Festival travel rush begins in Hubei Province”[19]

Note3: “On 22 January, WHO issued a statement stating that the data "suggests that human-to-human transmission is taking place in Wuhan", and called for more investigation.”[21]

Note4: Hubei Timeline “Jan 23: Wuhan placed under quarantine”[19]

Note5: Hubei Timeline “Jan 23: Announced new hospital to be built in 10 days”[19]

Monday Jan 27, 2020 (Day 108)

R0=1.5 Est Inf = 1,478 (Ohio 2.2)

R0=2.0 Est Inf = 262,144 (Ohio 396)

R0=2.5 Est Inf = 14,551,915 (Ohio 21,961)

Worldometers Total Cases  = 4,581

Official Ohio Total Cases = 7*

Note1: "On January 23, 2020, the Ohio Department of Health issued a Director's Journal Entry making COVID- 19 a Class A reportable disease in Ohio.”[22]

Note2: “On 30 January, the emergency committee reconvened, and advised that the outbreak constituted a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. The WHO warned that "all countries should be prepared for containment”[21]

Sunday Feb 2, 2020 (Day 114)

R0=1.5 Est Inf = 2,217 (Ohio 3.3)

R0=2.0 Est Inf = 524,288 (Ohio 791)

R0=2.5 Est Inf = 36,379,788 (Ohio 54,902)

Worldometers Total Cases  = 17,391

Official Ohio Total Cases = 8*

Saturday Feb 8, 2020 (Day 120)

R0=1.5 Est Inf = 3,325 (Ohio 5)

R0=2.0 Est Inf = 1,048,576 (Ohio 1,582)

R0=2.5 Est Inf = 90,949,470 (Ohio 137,255)

Worldometers Total Cases  = 37,552

Official Ohio Total Cases = 8*

Note: "On February 7, 2020, the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Emergency Management Agency met to conduct advance planning for COVID-19.”[22]

Friday Feb 14, 2020 (Day 126)

R0=1.5 Est Inf = 4,988 (Ohio 7.5)

R0=2.0 Est Inf = 2,097,152 (Ohio 3,165)

R0=2.5 Est Inf = 227,373,675 (Ohio 343,137)

Worldometers Total Cases  = 67,100

Official Ohio Total Cases = 10*

Note: "On February 13, 2020, the Ohio Department of Health conducted a Pandemic Tabletop Exercise with State agencies to review responsive actions should there be a pandemic in Ohio.”[22]

Thursday Feb 20, 2020 (Day 132)

R0=1.5 Est Inf = 7,482 (Ohio 11)

R0=2.0 Est Inf = 4,194,304 (Ohio 6,330)

R0=2.5 Est Inf = 568,434,189 (Ohio 857,843)

Worldometers Total Cases  = 76,677

Official Ohio Total Cases = 20*

Wednesday Feb 26, 2020 (Day 138)

R0=1.5 Est Inf = 11,223 (Ohio 17)

R0=2.0 Est Inf = 8,388,608 (Ohio 12,660)

R0=2.5 Est Inf = 1,421,085,471 (Ohio 2,144,607)

Worldometers Total Cases  = 81,820

Official Ohio Total Cases = 34*

Tuesday Mar 3, 2020 (Day 144)

R0=1.5 Est Inf = 16,834 (Ohio 25)

R0=2.0 Est Inf = 16,777,216 (Ohio 25,319)

R0=2.5 Est Inf = 3,552,713,679 (Ohio 5,361,517)

Worldometers Total Cases  = 93,106

Official Ohio Total Cases = 98*

Monday Mar 9, 2020 (Day 150)

R0=1.5 Est Inf = 25,251 (Ohio 38)

R0=2.0 Est Inf = 33,554,432 (Ohio 50,638)

R0=2.5 Est Inf = 8,881,784,197** (Ohio 100%)

Worldometers Total Cases  = 114,382

Official Ohio Total Cases = 268

Note1: Executive Order 2020-01D, declaring a State of Emergency for Ohio, signed by Governor Mike DeWine on March 9, 2020.[23]

Note2: Dr Amy Acton signs order to immediately limit access to Ohio Nursing Homes.[24]  

Note3: Acton and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced the state’s first test-confirmed cases of COVID-19 – three – on March 9.”[20]

Note4: “On 11 March, WHO confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 as a pandemic. The DGWHO called on governments to change its course by taking "urgent and aggressive action" [21]

Sunday Mar 15, 2020 (Day 156)

R0=1.5 Est Inf = 37,877 (Ohio 57)

R0=2.0 Est Inf = 67,108,864 (Ohio 101,276)

R0=2.5 Est Inf = 22,204,460,493** (Ohio 100%)

Worldometers Total Cases  = 169,516

Official Ohio Total Cases = 901

Saturday Mar 21, 2020 (Day 162)

R0=1.5 Est Inf = 56,815 (Ohio 86)

R0=2.0 Est Inf = 134,217,728 (Ohio 202,550)

R0=2.5 Est Inf = 55,511,151,231** (Ohio 100%)

Worldometers Total Cases  = 305,202

Official Ohio Total Cases = 2,290

Friday Mar 27, 2020 (Day 168)

R0=1.5 Est Inf = 85,223 (Ohio 129)

R0=2.0 Est Inf = 268,435,456 (Ohio 405,105)

R0=2.5 Est Inf = 138,777,878,078** (Ohio 100%)

Worldometers Total Cases  = 597,457

Official Ohio Total Cases = 3,971

Thursday Apr 2, 2020 (Day 174)

R0=1.5 Est Inf = 127,834 (Ohio 193)

R0=2.0 Est Inf = 536,870,912 (Ohio 810,209)

R0=2.5 Est Inf = 346,944,695,195** (Ohio 100%)

Worldometers Total Cases  = 1,020,920

Official Ohio Total Cases = 5,840

Wednesday Apr 8, 2020 (Day 180)

R0=1.5 Est Inf = 191,751 (Ohio 289)

R0=2.0 Est Inf = 1,073,741,824 (Ohio 1,620,419)

R0=2.5 Est Inf = 867,361,737,988** (Ohio 100%)

Worldometers Total Cases  = 1,514,776

Official Ohio Total Cases = 7,750

Tuesday Apr 14, 2020 (Day 186)

R0=1.5 Est Inf = 287,627 (Ohio 434)

R0=2.0 Est Inf = 2,147,483,648 (Ohio 3,240,838)

R0=2.5 Est Inf = 2,168,404,344,971** (Ohio 100%)

Worldometers Total Cases  = 1,992,903

Official Ohio Total Cases = 10,215

Monday Apr 20, 2020 (Day 192)

R0=1.5 Est Inf = 431,440 (Ohio 651)

R0=2.0 Est Inf = 4,294,967,296 (Ohio 6,481,676)

R0=2.5 Est Inf = 5,421,010,862,427** (Ohio 100%)

Worldometers Total Cases  = 2,480,741

Official Ohio Total Cases = 15,872

Sunday Apr 26, 2020 (Day 198)

R0=1.5 Est Inf = 647,160 (Ohio 977)

R0=2.0 Est Inf = 8,589,934,592** (Ohio 100%)

R0=2.5 Est Inf = 13,552,527,156,069** (Ohio 100%)

Worldometers Total Cases  = 2,989,715

Official Ohio Total Cases = 18,633

Saturday May 2, 2020 (Day 204)

R0=1.5 Est Inf = 970,740 (Ohio 1,465)

R0=2.0 Est Inf = 17,179,869,184** (Ohio 100%)

R0=2.5 Est Inf = 33,881,317,890,172** (Ohio 100%)

Worldometers Total Cases  = 3,477,488

Official Ohio Total Cases = 22,192 (preliminary)

Friday May 8, 2020 (Day 210)

R0=1.5 Est Inf = 1,456,110 (Ohio 2,197)

R0=2.0 Est Inf = 34,359,738,368** (Ohio 100%)

R0=2.5 Est Inf = 84,703,294,725,430** (Ohio 100%)

Worldometers Total Cases  = 4,009,284

Official Ohio Total Cases = 25,029 (preliminary)

Thursday May 14, 2020 (Day 216)

R0=1.5 Est Inf = 2,184,164 (Ohio 3,296)

R0=2.0 Est Inf = 68,719,476,736** (Ohio 100%)

R0=2.5 Est Inf = 211,758,236,813,575** (Ohio 100%)

Worldometers Total Cases  = 4,521,989

Official Ohio Total Cases = 26,357 (preliminary)


*Ohio Cases determined in hindsight 

**Exceeds world’s population

[1] “Coronavirus: how China builds two hospitals at top speed at the heart of the virus outbreak” South China Morning Post, Jan 28, 2020.


[2] “Disaster in motion: 3.4 million travelers poured into US as coronavirus pandemic erupted” ABC News; April 2, 2020


[3] “Ohio closes schools, limits size of gatherings to slow spread of coronavirus”; Columbus Dispatch, March 12, 2020


[4] “Slides from 03/30/20 Press Conference”


[5] COVID-19 Ohio Dashboard


[6] “Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Correction, COVID-19 Inmate Testing, UPDATED: 05/13/2020”


[7] “In China for February 2020, it was estimated that each infected person infected on average between 2 and 2-and-a-half other persons (this average reproduction rate is called the R0 number).”


[8] “High Contagiousness and Rapid Spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2”; EMERGING INFECTIOUS DISEASES, Volume 26, Number 7 - July 2020 (not considered a final version)


[9] "Coronavirus in Ohio: The math behind the infection’s spread”  


[10] “Complexity of the Basic Reproduction Number (R0)”; EMERGING INFECTIOUS DISEASES, Volume 25, Number 1 - January 2019


[11] BOTE & UOASC modeling = Back Of The Envelope & Use Of A Simple Calculator modeling

[12] KIS = Keep It Simple

[13] “Sen. Cotton: No question that Chinese Communist Party officials were pressuring WHO”; Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo; Sunday, May 10, 2020 show.


Transcript found here…


[14] “Cell phone data around Wuhan lab October 2019” 


[15] “BOMBSHELL: Cell Phone Data Exposes DEADLY Leak At Wuhan Lab” 


[16] “Does E-PAI support an alternative origin of COVID-19?” 

MACE E-PAI COVID-19 ANALYSIS (Contributed by Adiel Kaplan, NBC News)



[17] World Population Review, Ohio


[18] https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/worldwide-graphs/#total-cases

[19] Hubei Timeline: How did events unfold in Hubei, China?” Johns Hopkins University & Medicine


[20]”Antibody testing places earliest Ohio coronavirus case in early January”; Columbus Dispatch May 12, 2020


[21] “World Health Organization's response to the COVID-19 pandemic” Wikipedia


[22] Ohio DIRECTOR'S STAY AT HOME ORDER, Effective 11:59 p.m. on March 23, 2020


[23] Ohio Executive Order 2020-01D Declaring a State of Emergency, effective March 9, 2020


[24] Ohio Department of Health Order to Limit Access to Ohio’s Nursing Homes and Similar Facilities, signed March 11, 2020