Has the flu been cured in 2020 since all we hear about is Covid?
It’s a legitimate question.
How would we feel as a society if they ran a flu tracker, case by case, like the ones we’ve been seeing for Covid19? It would seem just as scary, right? Ohhhh, the flu isn’t as scary as Covid19 or as deadly.
Wait. Did you hear that, read that or assume that?
I wish I could find a side-by-side tracker for you that would make this show and tell a little bit easier.
I’ve been having this conversation a lot with people that are and are not in fear of Covid19. There’s many in the middle of smartly cautious, but mildly skeptical. So, today, I thought I’d do some research for my own knowledge to see what’s happened with the flu cases.
Guess what? I found this super cool site that has everything virus/disease related and you can click through to each state to see what’s gone on in recent weeks and year over year. Heck yes, these numbers are fascinating. Of course, that’s what you get from a geek like me. I’ve hyperlinked the image below, so you can click to go see with your beautiful eyes.
I clicked on Missouri to start and was interested to see there’s been 113,323 positive flu cases for this season (they’ll stop tracking this week for this flu season). 1,861 deaths. They track the flu for an 18 week period each year. This year is quite a bit higher than last year, but if you want to go back to the 2017-2018 flu season, you’ll see staggering Missouri numbers at 133,957 positive cases and 2,081 deaths. It’s all on the site. Click around, fact check me, I’ll wait…..
Alright, next, we’ll go to Covid19 numbers for the state of Missouri. The tracking seems to only go back to March 23rd, so we’ll say we’re about halfway through an 18 week tracking period, just to make it easy on our brains. I’ll hyperlink this chart from Worldometer…which disagrees with Wikipedia. The Wiki charts dive a bit deeper so you can see counties at a glance. However, most people are relying on the one below, so we’ll go with that.
Here we see 10,355 confirmed cases and 548 deaths. That’s a lot, absolutely. But, if we put this ticker next to the flu and then double it to show a full 18 week test, we’ll be at 20,710 Covid19 cases vs. 113,323 flu cases. Now, I understand that’s just simple math, I’m not a scientist and there’s more to predictions than that. But, Covid would prove to be deadlier per positive case if we double the death rate, making it 1,096 deaths in 18 weeks as opposed to the 1,861 deaths for the flu in 18 weeks. Should we take into account medicine/treatment advancements slowing down the death rate? Or the fact that we’ve been treating and vaccinating for the flu for many years and still have quite a few deaths?
**Update, we’re 10 weeks into our 18 week test and the numbers are still coming in steadily. 11,752 Covid cases and 676 deaths. I’m hoping not to see a spike that triples the death rate to match the flu deaths. But, the jury is out on whether or not the Lake of the Ozarks pool party will affect them. In another 7 days, we should either see a spike from that or notice that the numbers are steady and still heading downward. **
If these tickers were running side by side every year would we shut down the economy, force people to wear masks, run out of hand sanitizer and stress out the grocery stores? Would you feel better or worse seeing the side-by-side comparison?
I’m not really sure how to answer my own question, but I think if we’re showing one, we should show both or all. So many people have reached an uncontrollable anxiety level about contracting Covid19 because they aren’t seeing the real data and analyzing it with a straightforward mindset.
While I certainly don’t mind being safe, washing hands, mindfully sanitizing, being more careful, etc., I’ll admit that I find much of this craze to be over the top given the data. During the winter, I regularly down loads of vitamins, drink airborne, wash thoroughly, sanitize and have done so for years. That’s just general cleanliness in my opinion….especially if you have an office.
Would the rates have spiked if we hadn’t shut down the economy? I’m sure. Do I feel like we’re all going to die now with the states starting to reopen? No. Will we be shutting down the economy every year to keep people from dying from the flu?
What’s the end game here?
I sure don’t know and don’t plan to guess. However, I do plan to face the facts with a sound mind and faith as opposed to fear. Stay healthy, everyone.