By now almost everyone is aware of the coronavirus outbreak first detected in China and now known as “COVID-19”. The latest data (2/23/20) from Johns Hopkins University, which has been monitoring the situation closely, shows 78,990 confirmed cases worldwide, with 2,469 deaths. An under-appreciated facet of this virus is the stunningly high rate of transmission, as illustrated by the nearly-vertical line on the chart below. The extremely high velocity of transmission from person to person is perhaps the most frightening characteristic of this new killer. Chart from Reuters.