28 days ago, I asked
what would it take for people to change their minds about the
coronvirus in the US. I saw some people claiming it was an utter farce. Other people were claiming it was the end of the world. Two weeks ago, I
followed up to ask
if anyone had changed their mind. Now, I am back once more to get
a feel for what the folks on ATS now think.
Let's lay out some information.
The most common virus to compare covid-19 to has been influenza The CDC has stopped tracking the flu cases and providing estimates on April 4th.
There will probably be a 'final' report some time in the future about the actual totals. For the time being, people will have to go with their
estimates for the flu season this year. That was from October 1st, 2019 to April 4th, 2020 as per the CDC. This seems shorter than the past:
normally the flu season tails off into the first week of May. With the last update of April 4th, the CDC decreased the number of deaths from their
estimate on March 28th. No, I dunno way. They gave an estimate before of 63,000 dead and then decreased it by a thousand to 62,000. They also
changed the start date to October 1st. The total estimated cases for the flu this year were between 39 million to 56 million. This gives us an
officially recognized flu season this year as being 156 days long. This, in turn, increases the average deaths per day to over 397.
In contrast, the first reported case of covid-19 in the United States was on January 19th, 2020. To today's date, that means we have had a 'covid
season' of 98 days. As of time of posting, there has been a total of 964,075 reported cases and 54,375 deaths. That gives an average daily
rate of death due to covid-19 as being over 554. There is some uncertainty as to the total deaths, as there are a hundreds more heart attack victims
per day in NYC than the norm. Are these caused by the virus? Or not as a knock-on effect of people who are not seeking treatment out of fear of the
virus? Finally, it should be noted there are a large number of cases where people exhibit little to no symptoms of the virus, so the accurate numbers
for the total infected and ultimately recovered is almost guess work.
Additionally, covid has been stymied at least in part by the various 'shelter in place/at home' and social distancing orders, which was not done for
the most part with the flu. On the flipside, the flu had a really bad season because the vaccine was pretty ineffective as they selected the wrong
strains to vaccinate against. However, this has not been the worst flu season ever even when dismissing the 1918 'Spanish' (really, Kansan) flu
epidemic. In some years, we get up to 73,000 dead from the flu strains. On the gripping hand, covid-19 is infectious even before the symptoms show
Some other tidbits about the virus. 2/3s of those who are hospitalized are over the age of 65. It can and does kill those younger though. Also
interestingly, a number of those who were 45 and younger who caught the virus and recovered are dying of stroke. That's rather unusual for the age
group and the tentative feature in common has been the viral infection. Furthermore, there have been a handful of cases where people are testing
positive for the virus after having recovered and tested negative. The WHO warned the virus may not be granting immunity to those who have
recovered...which is rather odd.
So, my fellow ATSians, what do YOU think? Have you changed your mind? Is this more serious than you thought? Is this less serious than you thought?
1. That's actually multiple strains rather than, as far as we can tell about covid-19, one so far.
5. These are supposed to be tested and verified.