COVID-19. Scenarios of a Superfluous Crisis

9 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2020

See all articles by Steffen Roth

Steffen Roth

La Rochelle Business School; University of Turku

Lars Clausen

University of Flensburg

Sören Möller

University of Southern Denmark

Date Written: March 30, 2020


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

JEL Classification: I10, M00

Suggested Citation

Roth, Steffen and Clausen, Lars and Möller, Sören, COVID-19. Scenarios of a Superfluous Crisis (March 30, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Steffen Roth (Contact Author)

La Rochelle Business School ( email )

102 rue de Coureilles
Les Minimes
La Rochelle, 17024

University of Turku ( email )

Assistentinkatu 7
Turku, 20014

Lars Clausen

University of Flensburg ( email )

Auf dem Campus 1
Flensburg, 24943

Sören Möller

University of Southern Denmark ( email )

Campusvej 55
DK-5230 Odense, 5000

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