I’ve been seeing so much bad information about Coronavirus
on my timeline that I felt I needed to set some things straight. This isn’t a
matter of politics. The virus doesn’t care if you’re a Democrat or a Trump
supporter. The facts are the facts.
Isn’t the flu more dangerous than COVID-19?
The virus is much more dangerous than the flu. The flu has killed more people so far, but that’s because the flu has been more widespread. The final numbers are not in on the Coronavirus but COVID-19 has higher rates of both mortality and infection than the flu.
The flu has a death rate of about 0.1
percent and each person with the flu infects about 1.3 other people on average. For Coronavirus, the death rate is estimated to be about two
percent, possibly slightly lower and possibly higher. A Coronavirus victim also
infects about 2.2
other people on average.
If you aren’t familiar with what death rates mean, the 0.1
percent rate for the flu means that there is about one fatality for every 1,000
cases. In contrast, the estimated two percent death rate for Coronavirus means
that about 20 people would die for every 1,000 cases. In other words, the
Coronavirus is about 20 times more lethal than the flu.
The fact that more people have died from the flu is because
the flu has been more widespread so far. That is changing fast.
Aren’t we overreacting since the flu kills more people?
The current precautions are about prevention, not reaction.
The Coronavirus is more dangerous so the objective is to limit its spread.
The goal is to slow the number of cases and the demand for
hospital beds. If the virus surges through the population quickly, the number
of patients will be more than the number of available hospital beds, intensive
care units, and ventilators. That will mean that the death rate is much higher
than it had to be.
Death rates are highest where hospitals are overwhelmed by
patients. If half of the US population is infected, as health experts say is
possible, the death toll could reach the millions, even with a death rate of “only”
There is no treatment or vaccine for COVID-19 and humans
have no natural immunity to this new virus.
To this point, testing for COVID-19 has been a problem in
the US. Many people have been infected with Coronavirus and don’t know it.
Doesn’t a two percent death rate mean a 98 percent chance
Yes, but it might also mean spending a long time in an ICU
and permanent lung damage.
Even if you survive COVID-19 you might infect other people
who are higher-risk. You might be responsible for infecting elderly friends or
What are the symptoms of Coronavirus?
The main symptoms are a fever and a cough, although various
other symptoms have been reported as well. If you have a fever and have trouble
breathing, you should seek medical help.
The symptoms of Coronavirus are similar to the flu. An increase
in influenza-like-illnesses, in which patients have symptoms of the flu but
test negative for it may mask many cases of Coronavirus.
Do masks prevent the spread of the virus?
The CDC says that masks do not protect unsick people from contracting the virus. Masks
should be used by sick people to keep from spreading the virus in aerosol
droplets when they cough or sneeze.
How long has Coronavirus been in the US?
Coronavirus is new to the US. The first known case was in China
in mid-November 2019. The first known case in the US dates back to January 19, 2020,
in Washington State. The man had been on a trip to Wuhan, China and had
apparently contracted the virus there.
President Trump ordered a ban
on travel from China on January 31, but the virus could have been carried
into the US by other passengers prior to the ban taking effect. The ban did not
prohibit Americans from entering the country. Five
airports had screenings were set up for Coronavirus at the time, but the focus
was on visitors from China.
Does the Coronavirus only affect the elderly?
Eighty percent of Coronavirus deaths are people older than
60 according to the CDC.
This group also accounts for 45 percent of hospitalizations.
The flip side is that more than half of cases requiring
hospitalization are people younger than 60. Some of these cases are so serious
that they require treatment in intensive care.
The very young can be infected with the virus but usually on
have mild or moderate cases. They can still infect other high-risk people,
Even though the virus is most dangerous to seniors with
pre-existing health problems, the virus is more dangerous than the flu for most
Coronavirus has been around for a long time. Why are we
panicking about it now?
There is more than one type of Coronavirus. COVID-19 is a
new strain that was discovered in 2019. That’s what the “19” means.
Are there multiple strains of Coronavirus?
There are two
different types of COVID-19, but they are almost identical. WHO considers
the virus to be a single strain. The differences could simply be the mutations
caused in the virus as it adapted to its new host, humans.
Can you catch Coronavirus more than once?
Scientists believe that once a person survives the virus, they become immune to it. That could change if the virus mutates.
Should you avoid ibuprofen if you suspect you have COVID-19?
The latest evidence says that there is little evidence of risk with ibuprofen but experts say to be cautious.
Is Coronavirus a bioweapon?
The evidence points to a natural origin for Coronavirus. Analysis
of virus genomes showed no evidence that the virus was the product of a laboratory.
The theory that China released a bioweapon on themselves
doesn’t really make sense anyway. The Chinese economy is being heavily damaged
by the virus, something that they would not do on purpose. If the release was
accidental, the Chinese government would have responded much more quickly to
contain the outbreak than they did.
Further, Coronavirus has a lower mortality rate than a virus
used as a weapon would likely have. Why weaponize Coronavirus with a two
percent mortality rate when you could use Ebola, which has a 90 percent death
Isn’t this a hoax to hurt Trump?
Would entire nations lock down their populations and destroy
their economies to try to keep Trump from being re-elected? If it is a hoax,
then Trump is in on it at this point. Coronavirus is also not a plot to delay
the election and keep Trump in power, to implement martial law, to poison
Americans with a mandatory vaccine, or to implant microchips in unsuspecting
Remember that the most basic advice to avoid contracting or
spreading the Coronavirus is simple:
- Wash your hands carefully
- Stay six feet away from other people
- Cover your mouth with a tissue if you cough or sneeze and then throw the tissue in the trash
- Wash your hands some more
Don’t panic and don’t fall for the fake news and conspiracy theories about COVID-19. As a nation, we will get through this if we keep our heads, wash our hands, and trust God to see us through.