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I'm Tired of People Comparing COVID-19 to the Flu

billchao

7,410 views

Title. Seriously. Every day I talk to people who underplay COVID-19 by comparing it to the flu. Just today I spoke with someone who told me, "Tens of thousands of people die from the flu each year, we don't shut anything down for that!" Well you know what? It's not the flu. The flu is something we understand and have historical data for. This is new. A severe flu season has a death rate of 0.17% (something like 80,000 flu-related deaths in 48 million cases). As of today, 6,501 people died out of 169,374 confirmed cases, for a death rate of 3.8%. Even if somehow only one in ten people with COVID-19 are tested and confirmed to have it, it would still be twice as deadly as the flu.

The flu also has a shorter incubation period, with symptoms typically presenting after two to four days. An individual infected with COVID-19 may not present symptoms up to 14 days after infection. That's a possible two weeks for a seemingly healthy individual to go about their daily lives, spreading the disease.

I mentioned that it's new, right? Anyone who has had the flu before will have some natural immunity to similar strands in the future. But, viruses mutate. It's not perfect, but it's something. We have no pre-existing immunity to COVID-19, which potentially makes every single person in the world vulnerable to infection.

Quarantines, school closures, and other changes to our daily lives have inconvenienced us. I get it. But this is about so much more than not being able to watch your favorite sports team compete, or your vacation plans being cancelled. It's not about politics or mass media hysteria. This is a real disease with a serious negative impact to the world and we (Americans) have the opportunity to do something about it before it gets out of hand and we end up like China or Italy.

Sorry, had to get that off my chest. I'll burn this f***ing soapbox now.

Sources:

https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/people-have-been-trying-underplay-why-coronavirus-different-flu-n1156801

https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/10/28/does-the-flu-provide-better-immunity-than-a-flu-shot/

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/spread.htm

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/



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Wow, Illinois went from 8000 tests a day to over 19000 per day. You can imagine our case numbers are going up,up,up. I think the mayor of Chicago wants our lock down to go through June, only bone they gave us is golf with no carts. 

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On 5/7/2020 at 5:50 AM, dennyjones said:

In our county where there have been a larger number of Covid-19 cases, only 5202 have been tested.   Of that 5202, 1703 have tested positive.     There are over 405k people in the county.      In the township where I live they haven't released the numbers tested.    There are 33 cases and 1.9% death.    I'm not sure where they are getting their numbers...

Genesee County

I don't take any test numbers seriously until they can stop with the false positives, false negatives nonsense.  Nobody has any idea of the real numbers.  What I do know is that in a country of over 350M people, hardly any hospitals or cities used their emergency medial facilities for patient overflow during the pre-lockdown spread of Covid.  Is it scary?  Sure it is.  Should it be taken seriously?  Of course.  Should the US grind to a halt because of it?  No way.  People love to use New Zealand as an example of success, but you can't compare an island with 4M people who gets 11M visitors a year to the USA who got almost 70M international visitors last year.  Everyone wants to say we aren't doing enough but nobody has an answer other than shut everything down.  This country is not setup to sustain months and months and months of economic stagnation, nor can they afford to pay everyone a monthly sum to make ends meet.  There is no magic wand, and no easy way to do this in a country where people hold on to their beliefs of freedom with literally their lives.

We don't bat an eye at the 300,000 people that die each year from obesity, which also makes people way more likely to die from Covid.  We shrug at the 480,000 tobacco related deaths each year, which also makes people more susceptible to the virus.  But we grind to a screeching halt over a virus that primarily effects the old and sick, which by they way, most diseases are more deadly to the old and sick.  I don't get it.  

I'm not a conspiracy theory nutjob, but at some point you have to wonder if this is more about safety or compliance.               

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53 minutes ago, Birish21 said:

People love to use New Zealand as an example of success, but you can't compare an island with 4M people who gets 11M visitors a year to the USA who got almost 70M international visitors last year.

How about comparing the US to the EU instead?

img.jpg?width=2000&height=2000

The United States and the European Union have comparable population sizes, but the trajectories of their COVID-19 outbreaks have been vastly different. Data recently released by the European Center for Disease...

 

55 minutes ago, Birish21 said:

We don't bat an eye at the 300,000 people that die each year from obesity, which also makes people way more likely to die from Covid.  We shrug at the 480,000 tobacco related deaths each year, which also makes people more susceptible to the virus.

That's not really a good analogy. In general, obesity and tobacco-related diseases are preventable through lifestyle choices or changes. I guess you could say COVID-19 is preventable through lifestyle choices, but those choices infringe on people's freedom...

58 minutes ago, Birish21 said:

I'm not a conspiracy theory nutjob, but at some point you have to wonder if this is more about safety or compliance.

The recent spike of cases in the states that are making COVID-19 a political issue rather than a medical science one answers this question.

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5e864f992ff83909e45f48bb?width=1200&form

"Our best estimate right now is that for every case that's reported, there actually are 10 other infections," CDC Director Robert Redfield said.


Which means that the mortality rate is 1/10 of what is currently reported...

Like the flu.

sorry....

 

On 5/6/2020 at 9:29 PM, Edsland said:

Wow, Illinois went from 8000 tests a day to over 19000 per day. You can imagine our case numbers are going up,up,up. I think the mayor of Chicago wants our lock down to go through June, only bone they gave us is golf with no carts. 

Of course he does.  It’s purely political.

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1 minute ago, David in FL said:
5e864f992ff83909e45f48bb?width=1200&form

"Our best estimate right now is that for every case that's reported, there actually are 10 other infections," CDC Director Robert Redfield said.


Which means that the mortality rate is 1/10 of what is currently reported...

Like the flu.

sorry....

 

The fact that I wrote the initial blog post back in March notwithstanding, Flu case totals and COVID-19 totals aren't even counted the same way. Flu death totals are estimated. COVID-19 death totals are counted. Whether those numbers are accurate or not is up for debate.

Pretty sure I linked this article before:

4a92230aada188eb28afd071c300e98e

The U.S. now has more than 63,000 confirmed COVID-19 deaths, and most experts say that's almost certainly an undercount. Still, if you compare that number to the 2017-18 flu season, which the Centers for Disease Control...

So no, not like the flu. The flu isn't even like the flu.

Sorry...

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Oh brother, we're still having this debate? 

The best case, COVID-19 is 4x as deadly as the flu. Worst case, it's 10-11x as deadly as the flu. It's already killed nearly .3% of the population of New York City, with somewhere between 20-25% infected. In 6 months. 

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7 hours ago, David in FL said:

Whether those numbers are accurate or not, is up to debate...

Yup.

There are stories of people being told to list COVID-19 as a cause of death on death certificates even if the deceased didn’t have it. There have also been increases in deaths at home that are statistically significant.

So no, the death count isn’t accurate. But keep assuming that means it’s inflated. I’d hate for facts to get in the way of your opinion.

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