I am tired of listening … no matter where I turn for some accurate information it seems the media is more interested in sensationalizing and dramatizing what is going on with COVID-19. I’ve heard so many conflicting stories, from not enough hospital beds and respirators to handle the overflow of victims to there are empty hospitals waiting and nothing happens.
Then there is this fear instilled into the minds of those who want to listen. The one that put me over the edge was when Italy’s Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, in a public statement just a couple of days ago, mentioned that the deaths in the USA had surpassed those of the soldiers in the Vietnam war. Why was he comparing one with the other? Why is he or anyone else comparing the deaths of COVID-19 to non-health related issues? War and terrorism … To dramatize and create more panic and fear? Maybe …
I should state for the record, that these are my opinions. I’m just a guy with a computer and access to a search engine asking simple questions.
So I asked, and here are some answers. You may come to your own conclusions and perhaps you can base it on facts and not what the media is shoving down our throats or what the conspiracy theorists (which I am not) are putting out there. Invasion by aliens or maybe someone much closer than outer space! Really?
But seriously, here are some basic facts:
The common Flu:
Overall, the CDC estimates that 12,000 and 61,000 deaths annually since 2010 can be blamed on the flu. Globally, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the flu kills 290,000 to 650,000 people per year.
It is also estimated according to the CDC that 80,000 people died from the flu last year in the US alone. Why aren’t we comparing the COVID-19 virus to the flu?
What are we doing to prevent or slow down the deaths of those dying from the flu?
In 2016, 28.2 million people were diagnosed with heart disease in the US. In 2015, 634,000 died from heart disease. Every 40 seconds an American has a heart attack. And yet, we do not speak of this.
If we controlled the risks and worked on prevention (which is very doable) the risk of heart disease could be reduced by up to 80%. It is estimated that by 2035, the total costs associated with cardiovascular disease will reach 1.1 trillion dollars.
Why are we not taking serious preventative actions against this?
The stress alone from COVID-19 shutdown in my humble opinion will probably increase the number of heart attacks due to the financial impact of the shutdown.
I won’t mention how many deaths and the costs associated on a global level are directly related to automobile accidents. Let’s just look at the US. In 2017, there were a total of 34,247 auto accidents in the US with 37,133 deaths as a result of these accidents. What’s even more staggering is that 2.35 million people were injured and, in some cases, permanently disabled. The cost associated with these accidents is approximately 230.6 billion dollars.
Again, why are we doing something to keep inexperienced drivers off the roads or educating people on safety or comparing the COVID-19 deaths to any of what I mentioned here?
34.2 million Americans have some form of diabetes. 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed every year. In 2017, 83,564 deaths are attributed to diabetes, and yet as of this moment as I write this, 61,000 Americans have passed away from COVID-19 and yet we are not focusing on these more serious and pressing issues but we’re prepared to shut down the global economy for a flu bug.
The cost associated with diabetes in the US in 2017 – $327 billion!!
Yes, I am oversimplifying, just making a point. Hang in there …
In 2020, an estimated 606,520 people will die of cancer in the United States. This encompasses the varying forms of cancers. Approximately 1.8 million people will be diagnosed with cancer in the United States this year.
In conclusion, I want to round this up with some numbers from the CDC:
Number of deaths for leading causes of death
- Heart disease: 647,457
- Cancer: 599,108
- Accidents (unintentional injuries): 169,936
- Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 160,201
- Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 146,383
- Alzheimer’s disease: 121,404
- Diabetes: 83,564
- Influenza and pneumonia: 55,672
- Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 50,633
- Intentional self-harm (suicide): 47,173
Was what we did completely necessary? I believe in hindsight some measures were needed to protect the more vulnerable to the disease and some measures also need to stay in place until we develop a vaccine. Was it necessary to shut down all forms of businesses across the country along with schools, the ripple effect of which hit all industries especially travel and tourism and hospitality? The economic impact of this global shut down will take months if not years to see. How many businesses will never reopen?
We are definitely making history with our decisions and with what we’re creating. I am opposed to the fear that has been instilled in the minds of people. The focus has been on over-dramatization of what is happening especially when compared to everything else happening around us every single day.
Look at what Sweden has done. Could it have worked for us as well with some minor adjustments? The one thing I noticed in reading some of the information in the links above is that the older the population gets, the higher the incidences of death are in each of those categories except for automobile accidents. How is that different than the COVID-19 pandemic? Is it really a pandemic when compared to diabetes or cancer? There is no real cure for some cancers, and yet we aren’t shutting the global economy down to prevent the spread.
What happened to HIV which is a communicable disease? HIV remains one of the most serious global health threats of our time. In 2017, 1.8 million people were infected with HIV, and 940,000 died of AIDS-related causes.
But … we aren’t talking about like we used to, and we aren’t shutting down the world to help prevent the spread. Why or why not?
Herein lies my frustration. I do not have the answers. None of what is happening makes sense. The numbers don’t add up. The politics don’t add up. The media certainly doesn’t add up. History will judge us, in one way or another, that’s for sure. What will they be saying in 2, 5, 10, 20 years from now?
Again, just a guy with access to a computer asking some questions out of frustration, curiosity, and confusion and looking for answers
I need to go get tested …