Dear Americans: Coronavirus, Get Some Perspective

Dear Americans: Coronavirus How to Change Your Focus and Why

I have some good news and some sad news. The good news is most Americans will survive the coronavirus by a vast, vast majority (calculate your survival chances by age). This is something the media seems reluctant to impart to the masses. So much information is still unavailable to make many real determinations, but there is now enough to make a few good determinations.

If you were diagnosed with cancer and the doctor told you, you had a 95% of surviving you would be very optimistic. You would be planning your life, not your death. Yet, today in America that is exactly what many are doing, planning their death. If you take the official reported numbers and calculate a case fatality rate based on the numbers currently available it gives some ideas. Keep in mind that many cases are not included in the reported numbers as those numbers are only for those whom have been tested, which excludes those asymptomatic and those with mild symptoms whom never visit the doctor and recover naturally on their own. Additionally, the death numbers are probably off as well because of preexisting conditions or co-conditions that would have expired them regardless of Coronavirus. Coronavirus in a weakened 92 year old from another ailment might have died anyway from the original ailment for instance.  The approximate percentage of people that will survive the coronavirus at age 30 is near 100%. The sad news is even with all this information presented some Americans will die from this virus, but keep in mind many more (largely undiagnosed) will survive.

There are no reliable numbers for the infection mortality rate of the coronavirus. The infection mortality rate will reflect an even higher mortality rate than that determined from only the case diagnosed numbers. In order for the infection mortality rate to be calculated you need to know how many people have the virus. Currently there are approximately 327.2 million people in the United States and roughly 1.5 million of them have been tested. That means .4 percent of the population of the US has been tested. The reverse of that is 99.6% have not been tested. Many US citizens exhibiting corona like symptoms are not being tested and are just being told to self-isolate. Those numbers are currently not in any graph, chart or computation. This means data is not complete regarding total number actually infected, and therefore, realistic determinations cannot be made concerning the impact of the coronavirus and the infection fatality rate given the erroneous denominator. Most media utilized statistics grossly overstate the fatality rate; however, it is still high enough to be of large concern. To add perspective, the flu kills on average ~46,000 people a year in the US alone according to the CDC, and an estimated 30 million catch the flu. Coronavirus will probably be like a very bad flu in effect in my estimation, which is very bad, but not far beyond normal.

A reminder to Americans that viruses have been killing Americans and the world for longer than the past several months. Coronavirus is a new virus, and most likely it is here to stay for several years. Eventually, either a successful vaccine will be approved or we as a society will become naturally more resistant to this virus. (In case you missed it, there are already several vaccines that have been created and are now being tested for their safety to be utilized.) As well, medications known as therapeutic remedies are quickly being developed to help mitigate the impact of some of the symptoms of the virus thereby allowing infected patients time to develop immunity and survive the virus. Many drug combinations are being trialed to find ones that are successful.

In the meantime, the “flattening of the curve” goal is to spare the healthcare system an overwhelming influx of critical patients. We should all be concerned that our health care system is being overwhelmed by a pandemic with this low of a fatality rate. Our population as a country is aging, yet the healthcare system as a whole has not increased hospitalization capacity to reflect that growing need. Also, massive immigration has increased our population drastically without providing needed revenue for increased infrastructure including medical infrastructure. In 1975, the US had a little over 1.4 million hospital beds with a population of 215.97 million people that equates to .6 beds per person. In 1995 there were a little over 1 million hospital beds with a population of 266.28 million that equates to .4 beds per person. The most recent numbers (2017) available indicate that there are 931,203 thousand beds with a population 324.99 million, which equates to .2 beds per person. Here is the real source of the problem; if the US was prepared at the 1975 level, guess what? We wouldn’t be in this conundrum of a lack of capacity to treat this large influx of sick patients form a pandemic.

What the media has focused on is all the unknowns and the potential overwhelming of the healthcare system spreading mass hysteria and fear in Americans. Is it scary? Of course it is. The unknown is always scary. What is terrifying is the way the media has terrorized and traumatized the average American. Take hope America because there is plenty of it. Focus on the positive that vast, vast majority of you will live through this, just like you do every year from the non-hyped flu.

Sources:

https://www.census.gov/popclock/

https://ourworldindata.org/covid-testing

https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6912e2.htm

https://www.statista.com/statistics/185860/number-of-all-hospital-beds-in-the-us-since-2001/

https://www.multpl.com/united-states-population/table/by-year

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