Let’s face it – no Chinese product has garnered so much interest around the globe since they exported the bubonic plague back in the 14th Century. With their latest invention, COVID-19, making significant inroads into the Hysterical Highlands, we face constant media reports highlighting every new case, all delivered with the same grim determination that was used by reporters while bombs were falling from the skies during the blitz. The stock market plummeting, sporting events cancelled, businesses trying to work on-line, schools closed, borders closed, quarantines imposed on every traveler, crazies hoarding toilet paper, etc. etc. etc. One can hardly avoid the impression that the disease spreads faster than wildfires in the summer’s heat, is more deadly than Godzilla’s breath and that everyone on the planet is doomed.
If you’re like me, you might be getting a little tired of it all. The facts aren’t nearly so dismal. The old fashioned regular flu kills about 1 in 1000 people infected every year. Those that succumb are generally old and crabby, like me, very young with marginally developed immune systems or those that have previously compromised health conditions. If EVERYONE got the flu, places like ‘Murica would see 350,000 deaths a year from regular flu. Of course NOT EVERYONE GETS THE FLU. In fact about 31,000 people died from flu last year world wide…
During regular flu season you should wash your hands multiple times a day, stay at home if you feel sick and avoid large gatherings.
COVID-19 kills about 1 in every 100 people infected. Yes, that’s worse, but those that succumb are generally old and crabby, like me, or those that have previously compromised health conditions. If EVERYONE got COVID-19, places like ‘Murica would see 3,500,000 deaths a year. Of course NOT EVERYONE GETS COVID-19. In fact there’s only about 60 deaths reported in ‘Murica at this point…
So – during COVID-19 silliness season, you should wash your hands multiple times a day, stay at home if you feel sick, avoid large gatherings and plan a home style vacation.
The best that can be said of the current state of hysteria surrounding COVID-19 is that it might provide a good practice run for health systems that may someday be faced with a REALLY serious health crisis. Take the bubonic plague, for instance. When it arrived in Europe, it killed anywhere from a third to fifty percent of those infected. And that was back in the days when medicine was rudimentary and there were no public health measures. The virus that causes ebola killed about 70% of those infected and didn’t seem to care whether you were old, young or in between.
Both of these diseases now have effective treatments and immunizations. An immunization for COVID-19 has already been announced for release by the end of the year. How much toilet paper do you REALLY need?
A really scary pandemic will be one that spreads through the air, contaminating everything with great speed, making it easy to catch, is elusive in finding a cure/immunization and has a very high mortality rate, like ebola – or worse. Compared to these, COVID-19 might not be something to sneeze at, but it really doesn’t rise to the level of panic we’re seeing from a lot of people.
COVID-19 blues? Keep washing your hands multiple times a day, stay at home if you feel sick, avoid large gatherings, vacation closer to home and, if your going to stock pile something, forget the toilet paper – get a case of wine (or your beverage of choice) and several good books. Hasta la vista, baby!