Coronavirus Panic: What the media is not telling you even if COVID-19 mortality rate is 3.4%
As of March 3, the coronavirus mortality rate is 3.4% according to an estimate by the WHO. However, the media is doing a good job at scaring people. Most people are panic, instead of preparing for the virus. Unfortunately fear-driven media hype is not supported by facts or science.
First, the media is telling us to fear “the Coronavirus,” as if it were some ominous new pathogen of which medical science has no understanding. However, what the media failed to tell the public is what World Health Organization (WHO)—now also fanning the flames of fear—explained on its own website: “Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.”
Let that sink in for a moment. In other words, even the common cold is caused by a corona virus. There is no such thing, then, as “the coronavirus.” This new strain of coronavirus, causing an illness ominously labelled COVID-19 as if it were some sort of world-ending plague from a science fiction movie, is just a variation on an old epidemiological theme. (COVID-19 is actually shorthand for a “coronavirus disease” first discovered in 2019).
Here are some facts about coronovirus:
Human coronaviruses, which are named for the crown-like spikes on their surface were first identified in the mid-1960s, according to information from CDC. The seven coronaviruses that can infect people are:
Common human coronaviruses
- 229E (alpha coronavirus)
- NL63 (alpha coronavirus)
- OC43 (beta coronavirus)
- HKU1 (beta coronavirus)
Other human coronaviruses
- MERS-CoV (the beta coronavirus that causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS)
- SARS-CoV (the beta coronavirus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS)
- SARS-CoV-2 (the novel coronavirus that causes coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19)
According to CDC, people around the world commonly get infected with human coronaviruses 229E, NL63, OC43, and HKU1. Sometimes coronaviruses that infect animals can evolve and make people sick and become a new human coronavirus. Three recent examples of this are 2019-nCoV, SARS-CoV, and MERS-CoV.
It is time to listen to doctors and not the media.
As WHO further observes: “Human coronaviruses are common throughout the world. The most recent coronavirus, COVID-19, was first identified in Wuhan, China and is associated with mild-to-severe respiratory illness with fever and cough.” But so is garden variety flu, which causes vastly more deaths every year in every nation than COVID-19 has shown itself to be capable of causing.
Yet the lying media breathlessly report “rising death tolls from the [sic] coronavirus” as if COVID-19 were the beginning of an apocalypse. As of this writing, there have been only 26 deaths from “the coronavirus” in the United States, 19 of them occurring in the same senior living facility in Washington State, while the common flu has already claimed 17,000 lives throughout the country since the current U.S. flu season began last October.
Moreover, as the CDC noted before it too began contributing to the current hysteria, “influenza has resulted in between 9 million-45 million illnesses, between 140,000-810,000 hospitalizations and between 12,000-61,000 deaths annually since 2010.” And for the 2019-2020 flu season the CDC had already predicted 34,000,000-49,000,000 flu illnesses, 16,000,000-23,000,000 flu medical visits, 350,000-620,000 flu hospitalizations and 20,000-52,000 flu deaths in the United States.
So, it appears that the number of potential US deaths from COVID-19 will be a tiny drop in a large bucket of seasonal viral illness. That truth is buried deep in the middle paragraphs of the lying media’s fake news reports festooned with hysteria-inducing headlines. For example, there is a fear-mongering Bloomberg News report—no coincidence there—with the terrifying headline “There is a ‘Tipping Point’ Before Coronavirus Kills.” One has to wade five paragraphs into the piece to learn that “[a]bout 10-15% of mild-to-moderate patients progress to severe and of those, 15-20% progress to critical.”
In other words, critical cases of COVID-19 amount to around 15% of 15%, or 2.25%. Assuming the death toll among that 2.25% is not 100%, the probable death toll from COVID-19 is far lower than that for critical cases of common influenza. As the CDC reported, during the 2018-2019 flu season “900,000 people were hospitalized, and more than 80,000 people died from flu…” That’s a mortality rate just shy of nine percent for critical cases of the flu requiring hospitalization, and the vast majority of those deaths are among the elderly.
Also buried in the same article is the advice of Jeffery K. Taubenberger, Senior Investigator for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), that “The clinical picture suggests a pattern of disease that’s not dissimilar to what we might see in influenza.”
Remember the swine flu pandemic of 2009-2010? It was caused by the H1N1 flu virus, which “infected nearly 61 million people in the United States and caused 12,469 deaths” and up to 575,400 deaths worldwide, according to the CDC.
What about the rest of the world? According to the CDC and the prestigious British medical journal The Lancet, worldwide “[s]easonal flu kills 291,000 to 646,000 people… each year.” That is, the greatest viral threat to human life on the planet, by many orders of magnitude, is and always has been the common flu, not any strain of coronavirus. By comparison, the more virulent but far less contagious coronaviruses causing MERS and SARS have claimed lives only in the hundreds worldwide with very few or zero reported cases after the initial outbreaks in 2012 and 2003, respectively.
Here too the lying media bury the truth. One has to scour the Internet to find in the obscure journal Stat the telling comment by WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus that “We don’t even talk about containment for seasonal flu — it’s just not possible. But it is possible for Covid-19. We don’t do contact-tracing for seasonal flu — but countries should do it for Covid-19, because it will prevent infections and save lives. Containment is possible.”
But why should the lives of individuals and nations be turned upside down to contain a virus far less lethal, or at least no more lethal, than a typical flu, which cannot be contained? There is no sensible answer other than the promotion of a panic narrative that clearly serves aims other than those of public health and safety.
While the lying media consistently fail to mention the large death tolls from influenza nationally and worldwide every year—mounting right now—they are striving to provoke worldwide mass quarantines, travel restrictions, employee furloughs and event cancellations based on 26 deaths thus far from COVID-19 in the United States and 3,398 deaths worldwide, the majority of which are in mainland China, followed by South Korea, Iran and Italy. Compare this with the average of 646,000 deaths worldwide per year from influenza.
In the end, what is really terrifying is not COVID-19, but rather the prospect that the demagogues might well succeed in exploiting it to achieve their end. The media is not about to let a good coronavirus go to waste.
Part of this story was originally Published in Fetzen Fliegen. We have removed all references to politics.