I don't find that a credible explanation.
First, the medical centers, particularly in the major cities are not that bad. They would have noticed.
Second, there is enough political fighting that if the administration was attempting to suppress the reporting Duarte's political enemies in both government and media would have been getting the leaked to both news and social media if the doctors were not doing it themselves.
The only thing that I can think of for the Philippines is that all the infections and deaths were perhaps misidentified as dengue but if that were the case I would think there would have been a bit more about how bad the disease was this year. I've not seen that claimed anywhere.
An additional thought occurs in this regard. When talking about a transportation constraint we are likely talking about multiple margins - time, volume, mass, cost in energy (both to move and to keep the goods good). As we start shifting the constrain for one the others start coming into force.
It might be interesting to know if all are currently well balanced or if we have several that are nonbinding.
Another solution to the portal, and perhaps a different way of envisioning that innovation might be 3D printing from downloadable plans. I would think we will figure out how to create some type of generalized printer or see advances in materials.
The more I've considered it I am coming to the conclusion that we won't be able to make a good estimate on city size in terms of transportation costs. First, cultural aspects (e.g., language) and preferences (mountain versus beach) will have a large impact. Second, relaxing the transportation constraint supports both a highly urbanized outcome and a highly dispersed outcome. Perhaps rather than impacting city size, relaxing a transportation constraint might impact suburbs rather than the true urban settings.
Not an answer to your city size question but one might use your question in part of the explanation of why cities and towns all seem to have emerged as market and trade centers historically. Of course there is some endogeneity present there
Is one correct inference to take here that such viral mutations are that common but previously emerged and then disappeared without widespread human infection due to the natural isolation and separation that exists for several reasons?
I think Zvi's thinking was based on some observations that seem to be present. It may be that the first person to get sick tends to get a milder cases but others in that household tend to get more sever cases. I believe the argument is that the first person will likely get it from "the wild" more as a one time infection and probably a light load infection.
In the house the others are repeatedly exposed as it is a contaminated environment, much closer quarters and so the total exposure a higher load.
If we infect everyone then those most at risk will both deal with their initial infection and perhaps repeated exposure that may make their infection worse -- their immune system could deal with the light load initially and if no further exposure they would likely be fine. But if they are in an environment where they continue to be exposed to new viral intake that might be more problematic.
I have a thought and not sure if it makes sense, but would argue against masks to some extent or at least about how we might implement mask wearing and other behaviors at a personal level.
If the issue with infections are the load and period of time being exposed to a viral environment then someone that has a mild case will be expelling virus every exhale and then pulling some of those viruses back in with their inhale.
Is there any potential for those with mild cases wearing a mask for a long period of time in creating a worse infection for themselves?
Time I have. Would also be willing to participate.
Related to that observation I have wondered, but never posted/asked, if how one gets infected might influence severity as well. If I touch a contaminated surface and then rub my eye or then eat a sandwich without washing my hand is that more likely to end up somewhere other than my upper and lower respiratory systems?
I liked a lot of the suggestion and thoughts expresses.
The central issue though is data and I don't quite see a solution offered there other than we should be collecting and studying the larger set of data. But if getting that were simple the question then is why? If it really is "We just haven't thought of doing that in all the madness" should be simple to start moving that forward.
However I suspect that is not the right description of the situation. So perhaps a better starting point here might be to look at where the binding constraints (as John has so often pointed out to us) are and think about how to relax those constraints.
Clearly both activities, just recording and providing the additional information or identifying existing constraints limiting that effort, will include opportunity costs. But the opportunity costs for generating the data within the existing constraints versus identifying binding constraints that would allow the data to be more easily generated will likely be quite different. As such the relative payoff will be different with regard to the increased data I would think.
Wouldn't the entry means it self function a bit like a control on the viral load?
However, that point is clearly something that should matter to the larger point I think is being made.