Clearing the Noise

Back to the topic of COVID19.  I know – this isn’t really a biblical issue.  I don’t have any theological points to make off it.  I just want to help you understand what is actually happening with this whole crisis.  There’s a lot of static in the news drowning out the real information.

As I’ve written all year, the key is the mortality rate!  Yes, there are horrific stories about young people dying from the disease and others who survived after a lot of pain.  But these are the outliers, the exceptions in the overall narrative.  Let’s recap:

Using published figures on the number of cases number of deaths, anyone can quickly calculate the mortality rate as a percent: deaths divided by cases.  The original figures gave us an approximate rate of 4%.  That quickly rose to 5% and essentially stayed there, plus/minus a few tenths.  About a month ago it fell to an even 3% and few weeks ago was down to 2.87%.  As of 10/9 that rate is down slightly to 2.79%. That’s cumulative since the start, which means the actual current rate is much lower.

The latest headline, without citing mortality, affirms this information: Daily COVID-19 cases in the US are the highest they’ve been in two months.  Deaths, however, are still trending downwards.

By comparison, your average, run-of-the-mill flu historically has a mortality rate of 0.12%.  The Spanish Flu of 1918 was much higher with estimates as high as 20%.

COVID is worse than a normal flu but nowhere near a real pandemic like the Spanish Flu!

Look at it like this.  You’re in a room with 100 people with ages reflecting the population at large.  2-3 of you will die, randomly.  Would you be worried?  Add to that the fact that the random selection is weighted toward people in their 70’s and 80’s, just like with COVID.  Now how worried are you?

See?  The news reports what makes you worried and keeps you coming back.  That’s how they make their money!  Similarly, politicians win elections by telling you what to fear and how they’ll protect you from it.  Truth is a casualty in both cases.

President Trump is going around saying we need to live our lives.  He says, yes, he got sick, but he’s doing well.  All of America needs to start living again!  I wish he was more of a communicator like President Reagan, because his ham-handed tweets don’t come across well, but he’s on the right track.  The statistics prove it!

I am not writing any of this to protect Trump.  I’m trying to protect the truth!!

The shutdown has produced a spike in suicides, alcoholism, overdoses, and tens of thousands of lives financially ruined – perhaps permanently.  The “cure” has proven worse than the disease.

So, let’s work to reason for ourselves and find the truth.  No news service, no politician will give it to you clearly.

And I guess I do have a theological point to make.  It’s about worry, and the best advice comes from Matthew 6:25-34, especially the last verse:

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Here endeth the lesson.

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