Nice post, and well written, so I will reply a bit:
As of standing the cases are largely contained within China and other nations have not dropped the ball in quarantine procedures.
The problem is that(afaik, and from what i've heard) China didn't announce it for a week or so, leading to it possibly being spread beyond it's borders. That plus our more open/global world stage nowadays leads me to "worry" a bit(but only a bit).
Two victims spread roughly to five others and as such as a contagion event it is exponential.
Currently it has over 60,000 confirmed cases and a mortality around 30%; as such with with the time it will likely take not only to effectively create a treatment, but to with by that time the increasing need to manufacture sufficient supply you are looking at least at 20,000 dead.
And that's assuming the 60k number is accurate and not being downplayed by the Chinese to avoid a panic.
And even if they aren't doing that, that's only the confirmed cases...there could be and likely are more that are either asymptomatic and/or unconfirmed as of yet.
Still, even 20k dead is still a high number and I feel sorry for all those losing or that might lose loved ones and friends. :\
The current amount of confirmed cases is about 0.004% of china's population so even if china isn't containing these current people it would take 5 cycles ([2.5^5]x0.004) to reach close to half a percent of china's population; so the explosion of it as an epidemic is quite premature.
Possibly, but afaik the number of cases is doubling every several days.....that alone is somewhat troubling.
The largest problem of course is it's diverse spread (globally) where it can find area's less capable of it's containment and worse present resistance to efforts of treatment.
For example Africa might become problematic; countries in upheavals will become problematic.
If this becomes the case there is a real danger in it becoming uncontained and being a virus changing to a more benign strain which would actually be worse because people would take it less seriously.
Just because it may become less harmful doesn't mean it won't stay less harmful or there won't be cases where there is exception; it would likely become as prevalent in such a case as the 'flu'.
Plus if it spreads far and wide enough trade will slow down even more and needed supplies(medical and otherwise) will start to run even lower than now.
The big center to watch is India and the reason being is that it's expected to be big in China, it's spread far within their borders and external separation so far from china seems to be doing it's job; but if it gets through to enough of the Indian population the realistic trade impact globally of both China and India will start causing possibly enough strain that most of the world will be forced to instead of not doing trade with those countries, switching to 'taking precautions'.
And since many get certain goods/services from those countries it could affect many multi national chains that depends on those things to some degree.
In Australia we have already had a case of Hepatitus-B being shipped in frozen fruit from China; it is natural to assume that there will be mistakes or worse 'shortcuts taken'.
China & England are both fairly big on the surveillance state which helps track down spread; but many countries simply don't have that infrastructure, or want/permit such infrastructure.
So if in 6 months time we firstly don't have an easily deployed solution and secondly if India is growing similarly to how China is now; it would be a safe thing to say that ncov-1 will have attained effective global spread and thus be a full epidemic.
This is why I worry about it a bit more than average flus/etc.
(BTW what is the difference between pandemic and epidemic again? Just trying to jog my memory)
Reports that it will effect 60% of the worlds population though I personally roll my eyes at, not just for the fact of how massively mishandled the spread would have to be, but the fact that you don't need it to reach 60% of the population to radically change countries in a myriad of damaging ways including spurring on an Orwellian surveillance state or triggering a depression that might prove even worse in some countries from a casualty perspective than the virus.
Maybe not 60%, but if the claims that it persists even in "cured" people(i.e. they spread it even when recovered) are true & it reaches enough international airports then I could see it reaching over 25% or so of global population....and with around 35% mortality those numbers are nothing to(pardon the phrasing) to sneeze at.