Yeah, About COVID

I haven’t spent any time on COVID for a while, but someone read one of my articles from last October, which I then reviewed myself.  Given what I had tracked last year and all the current scary headlines, I thought it prudent to investigate the numbers again.

But first, a quick review of the numbers I encountered last year.  When this whole mess started, I did what I usually do; not take the headlines at face value and did my own research.

My first thought was to establish a base line, so I chose the flu, which, at least to me, is in the same zip code as the coronavirus.

I discovered that your average flu has an historic mortality rate of about .12%.  Very small!  Then I searched the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918 (in which my paternal grandmother died).  Records for that time period were obviously not computerized and not always precise.  Still, the Spanish Flu mortality rate was an astronomical 15-20%, several orders of magnitude greater than the average flu!

Next, I took the published figures for number of deaths attributed to COVID divided by the number of cases reported and found that the mortality rate was initially about 4%.  It quickly rose and stabilized at roughly 5%, plus/minus a few tenths.  It held there long enough that I stopped checking.  Plus, my source, The London Daily Mail Online, stopped showing those numbers.  Obviously, a mortality rate of about 5% is much worse than your typical flu but not as catastrophic as the Spanish Flu of 1918!

The mortality rate as of last October was 2.87%.  That includes the time period when it was elevated at roughly 5%, meaning that the rate right at the start of last October was less than 2.87%!

I googled the current numbers and found the following:

Total number of cases so far in the US since they started tracking is 38.7 million.  Total deaths are 636,000 giving us a cumulative mortality rate of 1.643% since the start of this mess.  Those numbers include when the mortality rate was higher, so the current rate must be less 1.643%!

If you’re in a room with 100 other people, and you are told that 2 of you will randomly die, how worried are you?  But that analogy is only for people who already have COVID!  Let’s take a slightly different but more inclusive calculation.

The current US population is 331,449,281.  The number of COVID cases is 38.7 million, which gives us an infection rate of 11.676%.  Just under 12 people in every hundred contract COVID.  What’s the percentage of deaths for the entire US population from COVID?  Divide the number of deaths by the population and you get .191885%.  Call it two tenths of a percent.

So, let’s revise our “people in a room” scenario to include everyone, not just those who contract COVID.  You’re one of 500 people in a room and you’re all told that one person in there will die at random.  How worried are you?

Let’s take this a step further.  Last year I had to research COVID cases in a certain Illinois county before traveling there for work and contacted the county coroner for figures.  He was kind enough to send me a lengthy response, which included this tidbit; the total number of cases is slightly inflated due to people being tested multiple times to ensure they are finally COVID-free.  He couldn’t say by how much.

I doubt that this is an aberration in just that one county in the entire US.

That fact suggests the infection rate may be lower than the figure I gave above.  It could also mean the mortality rate is a bit higher, although I doubt the number would change much more than a few tenths.

All the breathless, scary headlines aside, nationwide, your chances of dying from COVID are still roughly .2%.

Why the scary headlines and the push for vaccinations despite these numbers?  Follow the money!

This from the TheNation.com:

The (Gates) foundation recently reported a $40 million stake in CureVac—one of dozens of investments the foundation reports having in companies working on Covid vaccines, therapeutics, diagnostics or manufacturing, according to The Nation’s analysis of the foundation’s most recent tax return, web site, and various SEC filings. The foundation has also announced that it will “leverage a portion of its $2.5 billion Strategic Investment Fund” to advance its work on Covid.

These investments, amounting to more than $250 million, show that the world’s most visible charity, and one of the world’s most influential voices in the pandemic response, is in a position to potentially reap considerable financial gains from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Who are they accountable to? They don’t even have a governance structure that’s clear,” notes Kate Elder, senior vaccines policy adviser to Doctors Without Borders. “Increasingly, I see less information coming from the Gates Foundation. They don’t answer most of our questions. They don’t make their technical staff available for discussions with us when we’re trying to learn more about their technical strategy [on Covid] and how they’re prioritizing certain things.”

I am in no way trying to convince you to not get the vaccine!  What I am attempting here is to give you information to consider in making your choice.  You may have a medical condition which makes you more vulnerable.  You may suffer from anxieties that getting a shot might mitigate.  There are valid reasons for getting the COVID vaccine.

It’s just that I don’t think uninformed fear should be one.

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