Saturday, March 28, 2020

Why Isn't COVID-19 Just Like the Flu?

What's the big deal?  COVID-19?  Most people don't know anyone who is affected yet.  People die from the flu in far greater numbers, right?  This year from the flu, CDC expects about 50 million Americans to get infected, 25 million to seek medical care, 500k to enter the hospital and perhaps 50k to die.  These are huge numbers!  And yet we don't shut down businesses, schools or transportation systems.  Do we?  Millions of people aren't laid off, are we?  What's the fuss?

What IS the difference?  And why can't we simply apply the same policies and procedures we have with flu to this new viral infection?  Cities and countries are reacting when there are only tens of people dying.  Compared to 50,000 who die from flu, what's the big deal?

Well, we're arguably three full months into the crisis and a lot of Americans still don't believe it's a real problem.  And what's worse is that most of those who DO think it's a problem, can't explain it to those who don't.

Why isn's COVID-19 just like the flu?  Let's break it down and see if we can figure it out.  Here it is.  With simple numbers.   I'll try to use numbers that can be verified.