We can now say definitively that COVID-19 is much more severe than seasonal influenza ,” says Dr. Amol Verma, St. Michael’s Hospital, Unity Health Toronto, and the University of Toronto. “Patients admitted to hospital in Ontario with COVID-19 had a 3.5 times greater risk of death, 1.5 times greater use of the ICU, and 1.5 times longer hospital stays than patients admitted with influenza.”
These findings are similar to study results recently reported in France and the United States.
(DBx: Is the level of hysteria over Covid-19, which is vastly more than 3.5 times higher than is the level of concern over the flu, justified? What principles of ethics justify the vast increase in government power and the tyrannical lockdowns given that Covid is 3.5 times more likely to kill than is the flu? What principles of economics justify these over-the-top reactions? Since March we have upended society with unprecedented restrictions on human behavior. The media have frightened us with ‘reports’ of a disease that borders on the existential. Many scientists have allowed – indeed, encouraged – science to become politicized in the name of protecting society from a disease that is 3.5 times more likely to kill than the flu.
Three-and-a-half times more likely to kill than the flu is significant. But humanity’s reaction to Covid is derangedly disproportionate – a fact only strengthened when the age distribution of Covid’s victims is taken into account. Why did so few people stand with stalwarts such as Bryan Caplan and refuse to be stampeded by this madness ?)
COVID-19 did not put us in it together. That slogan is a legacy of the initial uncertainty around the virus. In February-March 2020, we knew very little about it and we thought it was way more dangerous and lethal across all population groups. We now know COVID-19 is a serious threat to the elderly and certain vulnerable groups. But to young people, it is not (that is, if we look at the data, not at individual stories). The mortality rate is estimated  to be below 0.1% in the under 40s, to double approximately every eight years, and to rise above 5% in the over 80s. The mortality rate of COVID-19 in children  is comparable to that of chickenpox, that is, almost non-existent. “Long-covid” is often invoked to justify restrictions also for the young, but it has a similar pattern  to mortality rates: the risk is low for the young and increases with age. This does not mean that COVID-19 is a made up problem or that we should not take it seriously. But it does mean that it is a very serious threat for a limited portion of the population.
So we are not in it together because of the virus. Blaming the virus for the costs imposed by restrictions is wrong, although it is not uncommon. For example, when the BBC asks “How has coronavirus affected mental health ?”, it should really be asking how restrictions have affected mental health.
It’s an excellent afternoon to be a treasurer for a private school, or an accelerationist seeking to hollow out public support for the government-run education system.
The CDC emphasizes hand-washing, which is great, but it overemphasizes cleaning. There isn’t a single documented case of covid-19 transmission through surfaces, so why is the CDC emphasizing things such as cleaning outdoor playground equipment that have no bearing on exposure or risk?
Lockdowns are sinister .