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Perspective is important, and helps us understand the magnitude of things.

Today, according to tallies by both CNN and the New York Times, over 3,000 people in the US infected with Covid-19 have died, exceeding the number of people who were killed in the September 11 attacks.

So perhaps it helps us understand how widespread the virus is, and how serious.

But does it?

It feels somehow flippant to conflate the intentional murder of American citizens at the hands of terrorists with a viral pandemic.

And some additional perspective is necessary.

Before coronavirus became a “thing,” thousands upon thousands of Americans were dying every. Single. Day.

According to the CDC, in 2017, an average of 7,708 deaths occurred each day.

January, February, and December were the months with the highest average daily number of deaths (8,478, 8,351, and 8,344, respectively).

 

EVERY day.

 

Causes of death include illnesses of every kind, but also traffic accidents and suicides. Are the coronavirus deaths incremental deaths, meaning more people are dying than would normally each day? Hard to say. We still don’t know exactly how many people have the coronavirus – or have had it.

We are now hypersensitive to how contagious the virus is, and with existing statistics, it appears to be deadlier than the regular flu. But less deadly than previously thought.

CNN reports a new study published in the medical journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases, estimated that about 0.66 percent of those infected with the virus will die.

That coronavirus death rate, which is lower than earlier estimates, takes into account potentially milder cases that often go undiagnosed.

So, for perspective, it’s important to look at the inverse number: if 0.66 percent who are infected die, that means 99.34 percent of those infected actually survive.

And that’s of those infected.

 

CNN points out a fatality rate of 0.66 percent is still far higher than 0.1 percent (for the flu). That is true. But in every article you read about coronavirus, it’s only at the very, very, very end of the story you’ll find the disclaimer that “the vast majority of people survive this disease.”

There’s no doubt staying home and limiting contact is slowing the spread of the virus. And there’s no doubt the virus is statistically far more serious for elderly people and those with compromised immune systems and lung function.

 

When the twin towers came down, commerce in New York City completely stopped for several days. The nation was knocked down, but we got back up, fighting as hard as ever before, and thriving.

This virus has managed to knock down the entire nation. We’re watching billions and billions worth of commerce evaporate every day. We’re gonna have to get back up.

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