This will be a political post. Skip it if you don’t want to get mad.
Easter has passed and most churches haven’t met in several weeks due to restrictions. It has led some to cry out that this was overkill. Some fundamentalists will even cry out about government suppressing religion (when they mean Christianity… well, their brand of Christianity).
Others will get into the fight over numbers and how serious this is. It will be a fight over the government acting too slow or not fast enough. It will be about who has the advantage in the next election. Here is the thing: we are arguing about the next election in a time of crisis. What have we become?
Very early on I wondered about the coronavirus myself. The numbers out of China were bad, but then I would hear news reports about yearly flu numbers and think, “WOW! I didn’t know that many died in the U.S. from flu every year!”
Then, the numbers got worse around the world… and then the U.S. Businesses were forced to close. Social distancing was needed. Could we slow it quick enough?
Now, we are arguing about getting the economy “open” and saying the number of deaths are inflated…
This will convince no one of anything, but I am a learner (Enneagram 5, so I sound relevant), and I have to look at different things to get at what might be closer to reality. If the “data” I see is in an opinion piece, I have to weigh the author and sources.
So… the numbers.
“SOOO many more people die from the flu every year!”
Yes… and here is the data from the CDC.
“The H1N1 was worse.” (Being 2009 and Obama was president, and EVERYTHING was worse under Obama according to certain voters.)
Yes and no… and here is the data from the CDC.
Why coronavirus isn’t any “worse” or “better” than H1N1: we don’t have all the data. H1N1 was data collected over a year. We are about 3 months into corona virus.
Now, here is what we are looking at as of April 9 for coronavirus:
466,033 confirmed cases. 16,690 deaths. In three months.
THIS is the problem.
We have people saying, on the high end, “Up to 63,000 people die from the flu.” Yes. And over 55 million came down with the flu. That percentage is .1% death rate. And THAT is over a season… several months. Not just 3 months.
The current death rate of coronavirus: 3.5%
We have people saying, “The H1N1 was far worse.” On the high end of those numbers, the death rate would have been about .02%. And THAT was over a year.
It is still early but the numbers are simply devastating. Are we overreacting? As Dr. Fauci with NIH has said, that’s something to be debated when this crisis has passed.
Do I understand the numbers fully? No. I’m not a statistician. I’m just trying to grasp this and understand for myself why this call for social distancing is so much more severe than any other time in my life. When we have to social distance for church? Never happened for me.
This has happened in a span of 3 months. This isn’t being made up. The punch this virus has packed in such a short time is the reason supply chains are at the breaking point and medical staffs are taxed AND putting their lives on the line because they don’t have the protective equipment they need.
This one is different as well because it has such a long incubation time and people can be carriers and not even know it.
What we need is to put aside our partisan arguments and simply let numbers soak in. If we can’t stand numbers, then listen to stories. The sad part is it often takes a personal story, someone CLOSE to us, who contracts the virus, before we pay attention.
Yes, this is devastating the economy. You know what’s worse? It’s devastating to PEOPLE. Quite frankly, screw the economic concerns and how this affects your 401(k). Let’s get to work and help people. Let’s lament in this time instead of throwing partisan political punches at each other.
Just like the argument of “are we being to aggressive”, we can argue about the state of the economy and fixes later. Right now, could we just please sober up and realize this honestly IS a serious matter?
I know I’ve convinced no one away from the view they already have. Those who agree will go on. Maybe they’ll comment. Those who disagree will inundate me with “data.” Or, worse, conspiracy theories.
But, for me, I have to look at numbers and history and try to grasp what is going on and how I will proceed.