The past couple months, the media has shined light on how dangerous COVID-19 can be, but it seems they have failed to mention the latest developments and simply preyed on the fear of Americans.
Looking back to March 3, WHO said the coronavirus death rate was 3.4%, around 34 times more lethal than that of the seasonal flu. With that given estimate, it was reasonable to close down stores, restaurants and take precautions necessary.
But as more data comes to light with the novel virus, it could be that the projected 3.4% death rate is greatly exaggerated.
A study conducted in early April at Santa Clara county concluded that a fatality rate for the county was around 0.1–0.2%, extremely similar to the seasonal flu. The fatality rate was far lower because of unconfirmed and asymptomatic cases.
However, it is important to not judge a virus’ fatality rate on just one study. That leads me to an antibody study conducted in New York.
“New York is reporting 15,500 COVID-19 deaths, and if 2.7 million people were infected, that would mean the death rate would be 0.5%,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said April 23.
Additional testing found that 24.7% of people in New York City had tested positive for coronavirus antibodies, and one in seven people in the state had antibodies.
This study shows again that the fatality rate is much lower than that of the WHO. However, it concludes a virus five times as lethal as the flu.
So who exactly is at risk? It seems like we’ve been asking ourselves this for weeks on end. First it was the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions. Then it seemed like everyone was at-risk for a short period of time.
So here are the facts. According to the Virtual Pediatric Systems, 20 people under the age of 20 have died in the U.S. from coronavirus as of May 1. Across the U.S., more than 24,167 people aged 0-19 have tested positive for the new coronavirus, according to state health department data.
So let’s do the math. Excluding any unconfirmed cases, which there certainly are with asymptomatic cases, the death rate in the United States for people aged 0-19 is .0008%. They also estimate that over 478,000 children 0-17 have had coronavirus and either not been tested or had no symptoms. that would bring the death toll down to .00004%.
Let’s be clear, I’m not trying to undermine the threat of coronavirus to the public. I’m simply trying to explain that not everyone is equally at-risk.
According to the CDC, the death rate of the seasonal flu in 0-17 year olds is .1%. In other words, children are far more likely to die of flu than coronavirus.
So we’ve established that children’s chances of dying from coronavirus is practically zero, and antibody studies suggest a far lower death rate across the board.
COVID-19 is a disease that sickens some, proves fatal to others, mostly the elderly — and does nothing to the vast majority.
The data continues to show it’s time to lift these stay-at-home restrictions. The country came together in March to support the lives of every American, closing stores and restaurants. It was done so because the media portrayed it like a virus none of us had seen.
Now the image has become clearer. Antibody tests show an enemy, yes. But it shows a far less threatening enemy.
Before antibody tests, the WHO had the fatality rate at .4% or lower for those under 50. Even that number was exaggerated.
From someone who was originally concerned about the early numbers, it’s becoming more and more evident that this virus was greatly overhyped.
It’s time to reopen America.