This morning I’ve been doing something I very seldom do. I’ve been thinking. Now, you may ask, what has gotten into me. Well, let me tell you. Covid-19 has gotten into me.
No, I have not become infected with the virus. I’ve just been thinking about all the information that has been scattered across the news.
Everywhere I look there is information about this deadly disease. I’ve come to the conclusion that if it doesn’t kill you, then following the president’s advice surely will. But, let’s put that in the parking lot to be thought about at a later date. That’s not what has me doing all this thinking today.
Three months ago we were being told that 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die from this new virus that is sweeping the world. And, that’s only because we acted when we did. If we had done nothing, then the total would be in the millions. If we had acted earlier, then the numbers would be significantly lower. But, it is what it is, so we’re stuck with what we’ve got.
A couple of weeks ago we heard that only 60,000 Americans will have succumbed to the deadly disease by August. Well, folks, I think someone should go back to school, specifically math class. You see, if I’ve done my math properly we’re going to get to 60,000 long before August rolls around. Hell, we’re going to be there before May first. By the end of August we’re going to be well over 100,000. By the end of the year we’re going to see numbers well above that.
Speaking of numbers, it’s the only way I can think about it. If I begin to equate lives lost to numbers on a page, a great sadness overtakes me. Someone has lost a grandparent, parent, child, a close relative, friend, neighbor, hell they’ve lost another citizen of this great country. I can’t bring myself to consider the people in other countries. I’d probably never smile again.
Since we’re talking about numbers let me toss a few out there for you to play with (remember, they’re just numbers, not people). The scientists and politicians keep talking about “flattening the curve.” They don’t really tell us what that means, other than to say that the numbers are coming down. Let’s get into some real numbers here.
As of today the United States has approximately 1/3 of all Covid-19 cases in the world, and 1/4 of all deaths attributed to the virus. To me, the important number is not the number of cases, but the number of deaths. So, think about this for a bit, and then think about what life is going to be like for the foreseeable future.
Let’s make a couple of assumptions so that we can make the math easier to understand. We are being told that a vaccine is 12-18 months away. Let’s say that the vaccine is ready to go on July first of next year. (Even though it took almost a half century to come up with a vaccine for polio, I’m more optimistic than the average bear. July first is much too far in the future for me, but it is what it is.) And, let’s say they get the curve all nicely flattened out by the close of business today. From here on out, these numbers are approximations. Since the number of cases and deaths are continually changing (increasing), I’ll let you fire up the old calculator and crunch your own numbers. You might wait until you’ve got your pajamas on to consider this information, so what I’m showing you now will most likely have increased by then.
- Flatten the curve at 500 deaths a day equals 122,500 more deaths before end of year
- Flatten the curve at 1000 deaths a day equals 245,000 more deaths before end of year
- That means our totals will be roughly 175,000-300,000 deaths from Covid-19 this year alone (kind of shoots the shit out of that 60,000 number, doesn’t it?)
Oh, that’s right. No one has ever told us what flattening the curve means other than to equate it to the number of cases being diagnosed. They conveniently leave out that death number, don’t they?
If a vaccine is developed by June 30, 2021, then we could have another 91,000-182,000 more deaths (depending on how well they do with flattening the curve, and how soon) on top of this year’s number. Added to this year’s total we’d have 266,000-482,000 total deaths from Covid-19 (once again, depends on flattening the curve at 500 or 1000). It’s much better than in the millions, for sure.
So with this information in hand, I suggest you begin to make plans for what life is going to be like in the future (near and far). It’s never going to be as it was. It’s up to each and every one of us as to what that change constitutes. Just hope we can get a handle on this real soon, or it’s liable to get real bad before it gets any better. Open the gates and let the cows roam free. How many survive the slaughter will depend on how many want to live.
Good night, Mrs. Jackson, wherever you are.