Twelve people from Diamond Princess died from COVID-19. This doesn’t sound much, does it? Whereas the sixteen thousand in Italy feels shocking. But let’s put these numbers in context. Twelve in a ship that carries 3700 people is equivalent to almost 200,000 in Italy’s 60 million.
Here is some more context: In a town with 3700 people, you expect about one death (and one birth) per week (assuming a constant population with a life expectancy of 75). Thus in Diamond Princess we could expect nine deaths since February; in fact we’d expect significantly more because of the disproportionate number of old people. How many Diamond Princess people died in total (i.e. not only of COVID-19)? (I don’t know the answer, but it would help bring some context.)
The chart above brings some context to the numbers of deaths we hear. Here’s some more context: traffic accidents in the US (and Europe) kill about 0.25 people per day per million. In addition, in a constant population of a million with life expectancy 75 years, 36.5 people die (and are born) every day.
In Lombardy, the numbers are 3.5 times Italy, so coronavirus deaths these days are slightly more than normal deaths. So daily deaths in Lombardy must be about double than normal. But there might be collateral damage, e.g. people sick with something irrelevant who die because of unavailability of doctor or machine.
I think that to put COVID-19 deaths in good context, we need to check the number of deaths irrespective of cause (but I don’t have this number right now).
Many small trucking companies, say having about 100 trucks, run on pen-and-paper, or on a home-grown Excel. I keep asking myself: why? I’m told it is because of cost. Let’s assume that running your company on specialized software would cost 100k per year (including technical support). I don’t know if this number is realistic. It might be less than that, but let’s be generous. Whether 100k is much depends on context.
You can buy 10 state-of-the-art laptops with Office installed for a total of 10k, and these will probably last for 5 years or more. Assuming another 10k for technical support, the cost is 4k per year. So 100k looks much.
But if you have 100 trucks and 100 drivers, and each truck+driver costs 100k per year, then you are spending 10m per year on your trucks and drivers. So 100k for the software that manages all that isn’t much, is it?
Suppose that because of better software and management, you are able to achieve the same amount of transport with 100 drivers and only 95 trucks. E.g. your TMS might be able to arrange for trucks to change drivers in your busiest lane—the truck would continue to run with another driver while the previous driver is resting. Five trucks less—this thing alone would pay off the 100k for the software, wouldn’t it?
So here’s my question: We do so many companies with 100 trucks still run on pen-and-paper or Excel? If you know, please tell me!