Run for your life! The virus is coming! The end is nigh! Religious nuts carrying placards proclaiming that the world is going to end were, until recently, laughed at. Now, medical “experts,” politicians, and the media are making such claims. The mad media with their exaggerations and fear-mongering are to be expected. But mad medical experts and mad politicians are now proclaiming a worldwide catastrophe from a type of virus that essentially causes a severe cold.
Of course, viruses can be deadly. The flu virus particularly, and even the common cold can and occasionally does lead to death. But the medical misinformation afoot concerning coronavirus (COVID-19) is egregious and, in my view, bordering on criminal. Let’s look at some facts (remember those?):
Colds: Each year in America there are approximately one billion colds (see the Center for Disease Control—CDC). Yes, one billion. That is almost 3 million colds per day. Can the common cold kill you? According to the CDC, yes it can, but generally not directly. The elderly and already ill (asthmatics, those with COPD, etc.) are especially vulnerable. A cold can lead to other complications, such as bacterial pneumonia, and these additional complications typically are what kill. So, common colds and related complications can kill people.
Flu: On average in America, about 50 million people each year get the flu. During flu season, 2 to 3 million get the flu each week. That’s about 300,000 flu patients per day.
Up to 50,000 Americans die each year from the flu—about 280 deaths daily. While COVID-19 apparently is not particularly dangerous to children, the flu kills dozens of children every year. So, arguably, it is much more important to contain the flu. I could understand a major campaign to contain the flu.
COVID-19: Over the last couple of months, about 5,000 cases of coronavirus have been reported in America (there are and will be a great many more) with an estimate of 90 deaths. But these are not necessarily scientifically sound numbers. Many of those alleged to have died from COVID-19 were not actually tested for the virus. The diagnosis was based on a clinical evaluation and is the opinion of the attending physician. Was it COVID-19 or the flu or something else? Without a definitive test, we don’t know. (And some doctors’ opinions should be taken with a grain of aspirin.)
So far, there is no vaccine for COVID-19, and some experts say there is no cure. Well, there is no vaccine or cure for the common cold; and flu vaccines are quite limited; and 50% of people don’t bother. Yet people are not so worked up about these.
Power-lusting and concern-posturing politicians are closing down restaurants, sports events, conventions, theaters, etc. This is causing vast economic damage. Businesses that are already troubled will close; millions of people will lose their jobs; and this will cause deaths, in particular through suicides. Unemployed people and those who’ve lost their businesses are substantially more at risk of committing suicide. So, actual, predictable deaths are being caused by this political posturing, its attendant proclamations, and the consequent economic destruction.
The world has gone mad! This extract from W.B. Yeats’s poem applies: “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world…. The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”
Rudyard Kipling’s poem, “If,” offers great advice: “…keep your head when all about you are losing theirs.” And the best advice—and this is really good advice: help yourself and others avoid the flu, which we know (no guessing) kills up to 1,000 people per week during flu season.
So far, in the US, COVID-19 hasn’t caused any deaths of people under 40—none! Almost all the deaths are of those 60 and above, and the greatest number have been 80 or older (91% of all deaths were of people 60 years or older, and over 50% of deaths were of people 80 years or older). Of these, many were already frail and suffering from cardiovascular disease, or diabetes, or respiratory disease, or the like. So, any virus could have killed them—including the common cold. Yet people with cold-like symptoms (80%) are not even tested!
It is likely that the mortality rate from COVID-19 has been vastly exaggerated.
It appears that the virus does not like warm weather, so the pandemic could fizzle out by summer. If so, behold! The politicians will loudly declare themselves heroes. They’ve saved the world!
I hope I am wrong about all this. But, so far, the facts suggest otherwise.….
The theme of my blog is “love of the good for being good.” Not much good here except, I think, we are all learning valuable hygiene lessons that can combat the flu and other serious infections, and which could save tens of thousands of lives in the future.
I realize that I’ve expressed a controversial and contrary position, and I’d like to hear your thoughts of agreement or disagreement.