Just for a perspective, I decided to do a bit of research (no surprise to those that really know me). The first picture shows a list of the top 20 countries and their relative deaths from COVID-19. On the far right, this table shows the COVID-19 deaths of population. Oddly enough the US is #11 in this list, so I’d have to say congratulations to our country for being more on top of it than the media is giving. Meaning, our population in the US has only decreased by .0029% due to this pandemic, which is amazing compared to Spain or Italy that are almost at .03% loss in population
Let me be clear here, this is not about calculating death rates, this is about measuring impact! We don’t know the death rate yet because we have no clue how many people are infected with the virus. The point of these scales simply allow us to identify the impact against something concrete like population.
Think about it this way, if we took a snapshot every Monday we would be able to see the rate of change from week to week. For example, if COVID-19 is responsible for a .0029% loss in population today, then .0031% next week, then .0033% the following week. This would indicate a pretty steady virus, clearly our actions aren’t helping, we are just stabilizing.
Now, if the it changes to .0035% next week, then .0055% the following we have something scary to look at. This would indicate we are implementing all the changes, but still have no control on the spread of the virus. So again, I state this article isn’t about death rates, it’s about severity and control. Using this formula allows us to track the severity and responsiveness to any change in action.
The second graph shows ESTIMATED deaths due to regular influenza from 2017 in just the US. This is staggering at .0104% deaths of our population! This tells us that influenza is still more responsible for a loss in population than COVID-19. It doesn’t mean it always will be, and we are clearly trying to make it not, hence the social distancing. However, in order to gain a perspective as an everyday person, it’s easier to judge the impact when compared to something we understand like influenza.
This isn’t to downplay the situation, if anything it’s a stark comparison to show how bad it could be, but to thank our government and healthcare system for not letting it get worse. There is so much hate in the world right now, and everyone is blaming political structure (left and right) as the cause of the problem, but the reality is we are actually doing an okay job as of right now.
Either way, be thankful it isn’t worse and appreciate the fact we are giving it attention today. Who knows what can happen tomorrow, but remember everyone working on this case is just a person trying to help out, and they are doing a fine job when looking through this lens.
Elflein, John. “Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Deaths by Country Worldwide 2020.” Statista, 6 Apr. 2020, http://www.statista.com/statistics/1093256/novel-coronavirus-2019ncov-deaths-worldwide-by-country/?fbclid=IwAR2d0nmHi-YsbBBpPe5S82Ur68NlfazJrFtSnM2KCy4eN5dqvXZQ5HytRIs.
“Estimated Influenza Illnesses, Medical Visits, Hospitalizations, and Deaths in the United States – 2018–2019 Influenza Season.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 8 Jan. 2020, http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/2018-2019.html.