My Take on COVID-19
I am seeing far too many of my friends act like this is no big deal. Referring to this virus as “just a cold” or “no worse then the flu.” Let me put some perspective on this for you. Coming from your friend and immune compromised citizen of this country. I speak for myself but I stand for all my fellow warriors that have underlying health conditions and my elderly community. Please read this with some compassion and empathy for others.
Let me first start of by saying, being smart enough to use prevention measures is not panicking. STOP telling us all we are freaking out and panicking. That’s the kind of nonsense talk the perpetuates poor hygiene practice in public. That’s the kind of nonsense that perpetuates ignoring requests to follow certain protocols.
While for you it might be true that your chances of experiencing anything other then maybe a glorified cold or flu, that does not make it true for the rest of society. We matter and we hear you when you say “its no big deal, only the old and sick die anyway.”
Now let me put this into a perspective I have not yet seen. All the numbers in one place for you to get a better image of exactly what you are saying you don’t care about when you speak those words.
From the WHO current statistics as of Friday March 13th at 12:30pm There are World wide 98,192 cases of COVID-19 (2,875) of those cases reported in the last 24 hours. China has 80,711 of those confirmed cases (the ground zero of outbreak) (146) new in the last 24 hours. China has seen 3,045 deaths total (30) in the last 24 hours. Outside of China those numbers are 17,481 cases (2,727) in the last 24 hours. 335 deaths (69) in the last 24 hours. It is in 88 Countries/territories/areas (4) new in the last 24 hours. COVID-19 does spread slower then the Flu but has a higher mortality rate then the Flu at 3.4%, the flu is only 0.1%.
Yes, the flu has had an estimated 36,000,000-51,000,000 cases this season with 22,000-55,000 deaths this season. That is a large amount of people getting the flu. The flu has been around for as long as we have all been alive. A vaccine exists to help prevent the spread of the flu, and medication exists to treat, and lesson the severity of flu symptoms and the length of the virus. From www.uspharmacist.com the reports state that children and elderly or those with underlying health conditions make up 90% of the deaths related to flu. 80% of those deaths are reported to be unvaccinated. These Flu deaths are preventable.
This is why us smart people, that are sick and every day of our life have to be aware of and understand the importance of disease prevention are angry at you for downplaying this virus. If we act the same way now about COVID-19 as we do the flu, then how long before we are living in a world that reports hundreds of thousands of deaths by the flu and COVID-19. People already downplay the flu, that’s why they don’t get vaccinated, or use medication to treat the virus. They think it is no big deal and the media and government all lie to us and that vaccines are a conspiracy to keep us all sicker. First of all, every medication has potential serious and life threatening side effects. However, vaccines are the only thing that has nearly eradicated disease completely. Until humans came along with their conspiracy ideas and decided to push a different agenda and the lack of prevention measures reduced drastically. I mean when was the last time you knew someone that came down with Smallpox or Polio?
www.Vox.com states that smallpox has been fully eradicated because of vaccines. Polio is nearly eradicated with less then 500 cases annually. We have also nearly eradicated Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Bacterial influenza. However, with the number of people not getting vaccinated some of these diseases are on the rise again.
If we as a nation ignore the importance of a new virus with no vaccine to prevent spread, and no medication to treat it then we put ourselves in a position of allowing a virus to take a much greater hold then even the flu has. We can’t ignore the fact that a large percentage of why the flu is so bad is because of a lack of adequate disease prevention measures. Such as poor hygiene, people not vaccinating, and people not using social distancing measures.
We should understand based on what we see the flu do every year why it is important for us as a nation to enforce those prevention measure now, before COVID-19’s number equal or surpass that of the flu. That is not panic or hysteria. That is common sense and thinking of the greater good.
More perspective for you. Especially those of you who like to say “don’t worry only the elderly and sick die.” The United States population was 327.2 million in 2018. 108.7 million of those people are over the age of 50 (at risk group). 48.9 million of those people are disabled (at risk group). 24.1 million of those have a severe disability. 34.2 million of those have limited function. 10 million people have compromised immune systems (at risk group). 29.1 million people have diabetes (at risk group). 77.9 million have high blood pressure (at risk group). 121.5 million have heart disease (at risk group). 35 million have lung disease (at risk group). That is a large percentage of the United States population that falls into the at risk category. Do you seriously not think if all those people contracted this virus that it would be no big deal?
Of course it would be. That is why we see such high numbers of deaths with the flu. Not because the flu is so deadly that healthy people at random and vaccinated people at random are dying left and right. No, it is because society already downplays deadly viruses and we the at risk community suffer and die for it. So please stop comparing COVID-19 to the flu like you suddenly care about all those deaths. If you did you would not be complaining about prevention measures you would be using them at all times. Just a 4% increase of prevention measures would save 4,000-5,000 lives from flu deaths.
Our leaders are for once implementing prevention measures prior to the numbers going out of control. Stop complaining about that. Be glad they are. It will save someone you love from dying. Cutting off travel, suspending concerts and large events is a part of social distancing. Yes, its being forced upon us, but that is because the flu has proven as a whole our society does not care about implementing social distancing as a prevention measure. If you must go out in public, don’t touch surfaces that you don’t have to. Use a cloth or covering to open doors and use handles. Hand washing requires adequate soap to lather your hands and warm water scrubbing for at least 2 rounds of happy birthday. Stay at least 6 feet away from anyone else. Cover your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze, not with your bare hand, with your covered elbow or a tissue or napkin and then dispose of it properly. Do not leave used tissues lying around. Clean surfaces with Lysol and Clorox as directed on the container. Use hand sanitizer when needed.
At medical facilities always carry your own pen to sign in and complete paperwork with. Do not use the community pens. Regularly wipe down your phone, computer, laptop or any other devices you frequently use. Antibacterial soap is a plus, and hand sanitizer should be 70% alcohol. Face masks are not a requirement and no longer the recommendation for all public use. So please leave those for the at risk people to purchase and use. Also leave them for the medical facilities to use. IF you are symptomatic then by all means use one to prevent any germs spreading, but they don’t really protect you from getting something, more from you passing it, so if you do not have an illness then just don’t worry about the face mask.
Stay home as much as possible. Don’t hoard supplies, because when the healthy population does this, they prevent others from access to things that allow ALL of us to use adequate prevention measures. If you buy all the hand soap and I run out, then guess what…I’m now at risk of spreading germs because you were thoughtless. We must think as a society together. Not about how me, myself and I feel but what society as a whole needs. So I urge you if you have hoarded massive amounts of supplies, please contact others to see if they might be in need and do some good and share the products with others. That is if you have not been sick with a contagious virus.
Please understand the severity that these kinds of diseases pose to a very, very large population of people. So when you say most people will only get a mild case, understand that the number of people at risk for a sever case is not just hundreds or even thousands, millions and millions of Americans fall into the high risk category. A virus outbreak like this not controlled properly could easily wipe out half the US population. It is up to ALL of us to do our part in disease prevention.
So please stop complaining about schools closing, events being canceled, restrictions being put in place, and travel restrictions enforced. It is important that we do our part. Could you imagine, just for a moment if a virus like this had ground zero located in the United States? Do you truly think our ability to respond would be any different than China? We always have a leg up in these situations. We see it break out bad in another country and get to take advantage of the learning process before it ever reaches America. We have always had the advantage based on similar circumstances.
I hope to see less of this insane need to use phrases like “only the sick and old die”, “its just a flu/cold”, and “but the flu blah blah blah” because it does not help control or prevent the spread of disease. Understanding how disease works, and working as a whole community by doing all the appropriate things is how we prevent spread. That means stays home when sick, I know I know unrealistic for the working American, but use common sense, wash hands correctly, use all possible forms of social distancing if you must be in public. Don’t go in public if you don’t have too. It is a temporary setback to life, and will be over soon enough, but if we don’t all work together it gets far worse then it should. That is not panic people, its common sense.
Statistics show we are more likely to die in a car crash then a plane crash. Statistics also show there are less people flying planes then there are driving cars. If every person that drives a car flew a plane those statistics would change drastically. Yet we don’t downplay the severity or importance of plane crashes and their prevention. This is no different. If we work together we will see the flu statistics change and working together now will keep COVID-19 statistics from becoming equal to or surpassing the flu.