As you know, the coronavirus—if you catch it, and get very sick—is a terrible thing to go through and you may even die. The virus and the fear of it are sorely testing our medical capacity in some places. And the body count will get much worse this week, right before Easter. The heroic efforts and sacrifice of many doctors, nurses, and volunteer civilians are all notable and praiseworthy. Millions of Americans are pulling together. We all know this. But do you know the odds of any American getting this virus? One would think that number is easily known or available. It’s not. A lot of digging into various municipal data portals reveals, based on the population tested, that rates can vary from, at most, eight-tenths of a percent in New York City to two-one-hundredths of a percent in Phoenix.
Did you know the chances of recovery from the coronavirus are about 98%—if you catch it? Did you know there are models showing 50% of the population may have already had it, never knew they had it, and recovered? Again, one would think this data would be widely available and reported. It isn’t. What is presented widely are numbers and warnings that scare and frighten us, and we are now being conditioned to a lot of panic and speculation. But part of the reason we are getting conditioned to a lot of panic is because of the wide range of speculation about other numbers we accept as our new fright-inducing reality, an increasingly confusing and frenzied set of numbers. And the normalization of our panic is having dire consequences and augurs for even worse.
Our officials and media have warned us of 2 million deaths in the United States. Then 200,000 deaths. Then 100,000 to 240,000. This needs to stop. There have been a total of 68,000 coronavirus deaths worldwide. And we are told we will see, just in America, three to four times that number. Does that even pass the plausibility test?
Is it too much to ask for some perspective with numbers we do know about, numbers which have never shut down our country, much less a church or synagogue, much less entire industries; numbers which have never restricted travel or put this nation into one big frenzy? In any given month in America, we lose about 54,000 Americans to heart disease; 50,000 to cancer; 14,000 to asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema; 12,000 to stroke; 10,000 to Alzheimer’s; 7,000 to diabetes; 5,600 to drug overdoses; and 4,700 to influenza and pneumonia. Since February, in America, coronavirus: 9,500. Where is the sympathy for the victims and families of those other causes of death? The daily mortality count? The blaring headlines? The upending of the country? We hear almost nothing about them. Those deaths give us over 157,000 deaths a month. Given all that is being done about one cause of death, COVID-19, it turns out this is a very advantaged disease, indeed. And we will in time develop a vaccine for it, not to mention more and more good news coming in the short term about treatments from other extant medicines like hydroxychloroquine.
But there is more. With all the blaring chyrons and death and disease counts, has anyone tried to search for the average age of the death toll from this pathogen? It’s very hard to do—though we are told the virus more maleficently affects those over 65, and is worse with each year of age. Why do you think this point, this fact, is not everywhere available? Could it be there is an investment and interest in scaring all of us? You can find some stories with state and local data, but isn’t it interesting the general data is not available? Our best analysis shows in New York City 70% of the deaths are of those over age 65. And almost all deaths across all age groups come with underlying conditions. New York has a serious problem and requires great effort and attention, which is being applied. But the fact that the virus is having its way there does not mean that it is making its way anywhere or everywhere. States with even greater populations, like California and Texas, are showing death rates 90% lower than New York. States like Iowa and Minnesota have low numbers, too—but Iowa is not in lockdown and Minnesota is.