COVID-19 By the Numbers: Part 3 – Questions

The preceding posts on Fear and Hope related to COVID-19 numbers led me to this post. The numbers we are being given should raise questions. Clearly, we are not being given full information and that worsens the tremendous uncertainty of this pandemic.

Following are some questions that I have.

When did this virus really start?
It is assumed that it started in December 2019 and reached the U.S in January 2020. But I know more than a handful of people who believe they suffered from the virus earlier perhaps, years earlier.

Given the death rates noted in the prior post, what would the death rate be without COVID-19? With the co-morbidity factors involved in these deaths, one has to think that many of these deaths would have occurred without COVID

What numbers are not being revealed, and why?
We know, for example, Florida’s Governor ordered the Health Department not to report the number of emergency room visits related to the flu which were not COVID-19 cases. Why? Wouldn’t it be helpful to have both numbers to compare?

What are the real numbers from China? We’ll never know. But, knowing those would help understand the numbers worldwide.

How did a virus spread worldwide in just a matter of weeks? This goes back to the timing issue. Many sources are indicating that the virus has been known for years. Similarly, the U.S. government was aware of this specific virus being researched in China 2 years ago! Why did this not get the full attention and resources of the U.S. before January 2020 or even later?

What are the recovery rates, death rates, etc., by gender, race, age, country, etc., and how do they compare? Some of these data are available – but they are not well reported. This kind of analysis is more than television news usually presents, but it could be explained in ways to help Americans understand the virus, its spread, its risks, and more, if sensationalism wasn’t the mantra of television news. To get even a little below that level of news, one must turn to print media or to internet searches of credible sources. That is, beyond the level that most people will go to learn what they can in deciding to wear a mask, stand 6′ apart in checkout lines, and stay out of the parks. Again, I’m not saying those practices are unimportant, but they should be questioned – not protested in the streets – but in meaningful discussions. If such discussions are even possible in our polarized and political world.

David has a lot of questions, none of which are easily answered.  I doubt we will ever know the answers to many of the questions on everyone’s minds, for example, the date on which the COVID-19 virus was first discovered.  I have read countless articles about its origin, including that COVID-19 was discovered 15 years ago, in a bat cave 1000 miles from Wuhan.  But, who knows?  Maybe we, collectively, are being lied to; maybe not.  Maybe there is something worse than COVID-19 that lurks on the horizon; maybe not.  Maybe our so called “leaders” are more competent than, on the surface (at least to me) they appear; maybe not.  There are many, many unknowns in the current pandemic and I don’t know if anyone has all the answers.  As for me, I will be thrilled when I am not required to wear a mask in public.  Wearing a mask fogs up my sunglasses, messes up my hair, hides my smiling face, and in general, makes me look kind of stupid!  But, I am doing it because of the slight chance that it will make a difference to me or to those around me.  In the meantime, I will continue to stay as informed as possible and avoid people for whom fear mongering is a way of life.  As for so called cures that are more deadly than COVID-19 (such as drinking or injecting bleach) , I will avoid them too! 

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