The Coronavirus, COVID-19, and Some Numbers

March 16, 2020

The death toll stands at 68 in the U.S. according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fcases-in-us.html

Frustratingly, CBSNews.com on the same day was reporting a total of 88 deaths, without citing a source:

https://www.cbsnews.com/live-updates/coronavirus-updates-cases-fears-deaths-us-latest-2020-03-16/

This inexcusably sloppy reporting leads credence to the thought that America’s mainstream media is exaggerating this crisis for ratings, while hiding behind the cover of informing and helping us. It’s the same way with weather disasters, their audience will double or triple in an tragedy.

As noted below, the CDC states that the 2017-2018 flu season claimed over 60,000 lives. This virus is said to be much, much deadlier than seasonal flu. Yet, where was the panic back then for the simple, seasonal flu?

This graphic from the Visual Capitalist offers perspective. _Double click_ for the full image.

https://www.visualcapitalist.com/history-of-pandemics-deadliest/

March 12, 2020

As of today, 41 people in the United States have died of COVID-19 . That’s according to NBC who do not cite a source.

March 11, 2020

Update: NBC is reporting today that 29 people have died of COVID-19 in the U.S. That’s seven more since I originally wrote this post. This total still doesn’t seem a reason to panic.

One person said that the panic is being driven by how rapidly it can kill someone. That’s certainly well put. I think, though, that we should be bothered by this only if the numbers of death indicate something to worry about to begin with.

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/coronavirus

This is an interesting post today in The Week, written by Tim O’Donnell:

“Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told lawmakers during a House Oversight Committee hearing Wednesday that COVID-19 — the disease caused by the novel coronavirus — is probably about 10 times more lethal than the seasonal flu.

President Trump has often compared COVID-19 to the flu, which affects tens of thousands of Americans each year, in an effort to calm people down, but Fauci clearly wasn’t trying to downplay the seriousness of the virus’ spread. Fauci is a member of the White House’s coronavirus task force.

At the same time, he did clarify that 10 times figure actually brings the new coronavirus’ fatality rate lower than official estimates, which hover around 3 percent. The flu has a mortality rate of about 0.1 percent, so, when considering the likelihood that there are many asymptomatic or very mild cases that have gone undiagnosed, Fauci places the new coronavirus’ lethality rate at somewhere around 1 percent. While that’s a good deal lower than the current data suggests, it still would lead to significant numbers of fatalities, and makes the flu comparisons seem pretty questionable.”

https://theweek.com/speedreads/901470/coronavirus-10-times-more-lethal-than-seasonal-flu-trumps-task-force-immunologist-says

As you’ll read below, the now downplayed seasonal flu is quite the killer.

How Many People Have Died of COVID-19 in the United States?

March 9, 2020

The Coronavirus (CoV) or COVID-19 in the States, has come to America and people are panic buying and staying home. The stock market is collapsing. People are flying less and even the casinos here in Las Vegas are worried about fewer tourists.

In 2018, there were 36,560 deaths by vehicle accidents in the United States. In America so far, the New York Times says 22 people have died from COVID-19.

The CDC estimates that 34,200 people died in the 2018-2019 flu season. The 2017-2018 flu season was hard, perhaps claiming 61,099. It may be that COVID-19 has been here for a while, passing as an unidentified flu strain.

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/2018-2019.html

March 16, 2020 Update: My long planned trip is now off. Although my chances of dying were far greater from driving down the road than a virus, the list of cancelled events and sites I planned to go to was increasing day by day.

Summary

Why all the panic? There is a thing called mass hysteria, an epidemic of the mind. The press may be contributing to it with their need for ratings and a 24 hour news cycle to feed. I wonder.


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