Pat's View: Covid isn't deadly enough
By Patrick Robinson
The politicization of a health care issue, namely COVID-19 is due to one thing. It doesn’t kill enough people.
Before you judge me, I will tell you I've lost dear friends to COVID and know others who were extremely sick. I also know some for whom the effects and symptoms were relatively mild. But there's more to this.
The annual flu has a death rate of just 1%, and measles is 1.46%. Lassa Fever is 1.67%. Tularemia, left untreated is at 2 %. HIV/AIDS is today at 2.03% Next most deadly is larval tapeworm infection at a 2.2% mortality rate. Rotavirus which kills 2.4% of those who get it has a vaccine. Then H.Influenzae (which is not the flu despite the name) is a bacterial infection that kiils 2.45%. Scourges like Typhoid Fever and Cholera are next with 4% of people dying. They can be treated of course but left untreated the death rate for Cholera jumps to nearly 100%. Typhoid untreated kills 1/3 of those infected. A version of E.Coli infection that produces something called the Shiga Toxin kills 5% and is tied with Louse-borne relapsing fever, spread by lice in North Africa. Left untreated the death rate can climb to 40%.
There are many more infectious diseases that have higher death rates, all the way up to Rabies and Mad Cow Disease which are again, if untreated, 100% fatal.
Yet not one of them are the subject of public protest, podcast discussions, memes, and more. Tularemia only kills 100 people a year. Cholera has killed as many as 143,000 in a year. In 2021 Covid caused 771,000 deaths. There are those who dispute this of course suggesting that other conditions were at least in part to blame. They call it co-morbidity. But if that’s true, then assuming proportionality, other deaths due to infectious disease can also be counted lower. Covid still has many times more deaths.
So it comes down to commonality...the number of cases, combined with death rates (and as we now know on-going lingering complications), and the disruption that measures taken to control it have caused.
We all understand now that COVID-19 is transmitted through the air, commonly enters the body through the nose, incubates there for up to three days before reaching high enough viral load to cause serious symptoms.
But it only kills 3.1% right?
What if it were deadlier? Like MERS whose death rate is 36.4%
What would happen if out of every 100 people who got it, 36 died? Would those who are now protesting having to wear masks or get a vaccine change their minds? Has the incessant campaign of misinformation about it become so blaring that no voice of reason can get through? Is the arrogance of the poorly informed yet “convinced” that all vaccines are bad so powerful they won’t wake up?
Is the idea that getting it once gives you immunity (it doesn’t) enough to prevent action? Is the lie that this is all a plot by the wealthy and media to take control so believable they would rather let millions more die than admit they were wrong?
Imagine the government’s response if it were as transmissible as the Omicron variant of COVID but killed every third person. Would those who protest controls, masks, vaccines, shutdowns or other measures still feel as they do?
Right now, in 2021, we’ve had 386,000 people die from COVID in the United States. Since the pandemic began we’ve seen 5.41 million people die. What if it were 15 million or 100 million? Would vaccines make sense then? Would people wear masks then? Would lockdowns be ok then?
The facts are that no one alive has been through anything like this before. We know a few things about it but these are, even now, still early days in terms of our ability to deal with it.
Does it really need to kill more people to get the entitled, the self absorbed, the delusional among us to take it seriously?