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When it comes to Covid, I’m confused by opinions

OK I need some help. There are two distinct Covid arguments that have been around since the beginning. No matter what happens, how much data is gathered, how much suffering, hospitals and medical infrastructure overrun, etc…. these opinions do not change.

Read this article. Facts on COVID-19 that politicians won’t tell you.

There are aspects to this article that are not wrong, but it is the maths I continue to struggle with. Am I bonkers? Am I missing something? This is an Australian view, which is why I am referencing Australia below.

My reflections…..

Flu Vs Covid

The flu versus Covid argument confuses me. In the US, Covid was at least 10x more deadly than the flu. It’s not in Australia, because Australia has managed not to have the highest death rate in the world!! When it gets out of control, lots of deaths happen.

Read this – “The death rate among COVID-19 patients was 18.5%, while it was 5.3% for those with the flu.” Just one perspective.

Or this article: “The World Health Organization estimates that 290,000 to 650,000 people die of flu-related causes every year worldwide.”

According to the WHO: By 31 December 2020, this figure stood at 1,813,188. Yet preliminary estimates suggest the total number of global deaths attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 is at least three million, representing 1.2 million more deaths than officially reported.

That’s a big difference, yes? And deaths are only one measure.

Excess deaths

The excess deaths being attributed to something else, not Covid, is another area of contradiction. We know people who are not healthy are more susceptible to death, but excess deaths are up in every country that has had a bad run with the virus – here’s one reference. The CDC.
And here’s one country – India.

Quoting a country’s figures (like Australia), when all around we have many other examples of countries that got hammered by Covid, well that just seems idiotic to me. Am I wrong?

Vaccines reduce the death rate

Vaccinations have been shown to reduce the death rate, and Singapore’s plans to make Covid endemic will only happen after more than 70% of the population is vaccinated – that’s August 2021. Australia is expected to reach this point in March 2022, unless Kevin Rudd’s 
chat with the Pfizer CEO works out, of course.

Long Covid and what we don’t know

Long Covid is a scary mother! I have many friends around the world who will probably suffer implications from getting Covid, and they’ll suffer these implications for life. Examples include permanent lung damage, permanent oxygen needs, etc.. and these people are young. Death is not the only measure for Covid. Knowledge on long Covid is growing, but the reality is, all research suggests it’s not worth the risk of getting it if you can avoid it.

Read this too – Covid: Younger adults still at risk of serious organ damage – study

Mutations and variants

And of course, we have mutations and variants. Delta is not the same virus we first encountered. It moves fast and infects everyone. Heck you can catch it passing someone you don’t know on the street – in a matter of seconds. It is NOT the same virus.

How this virus evolves is critical, because if it evolves out of the vaccine’s reach, well we might be all starting over again, although the scientists are continuously working on the vaccine – trying to stay ahead of the variants.

Why we really need to keep it under control

However, this is the argument that I believe is most important. The reason you keep Covid under control if you can – is because no one wants to be in a country with overrun hospitals or a lack of medical supplies. We are seeing this across Asia right now, and none of us want to get sick with anything, especially Covid. Here’s why: Bodies literally left lying in Bangkok’s streets as COVID-19 takes heavy toll.

If you know anyone in India, you will know that many of the deaths wouldn’t have happened IF there was medical attention and supplies available. It impacted young people significantly, and far too many died who could have survived in normal times.

Where are we?

So what can we do? We must do everything we can to get the world vaccinated. We have so many more pressing issues – including getting the economy moving again. But the whole argument against actions to mitigate Covid, well I’m always confused. I know the pain and suffering that it’s creating, I see it every day where I’m living. But this is what happens when we have a pandemic.

Read this McKinsey piece: How might the COVID-19 pandemic end?

It feels like we’re left with few choices. Let it run itself out, and hope enough get the vaccine, or make the right choices in each country to keep the medical infrastructure working, which benefits everyone.

From all I’m reading, I believe we are going into a new, deadly phase of this virus, so hang onto your hats my friends. These next few months are looking rough – especially in Asia.

We will get to the end of this, even if it does become endemic across the world, but we’re not there yet. Get vaccinated. Protect yourself, and then keep social distancing until we know this is over. I can’t see another way yet, until the vaccines are everywhere.

So what is it I’m not seeing? And yes, I see the economic argument, so it’s not that I don’t understand that. I also know it’s not straight forward. None of this is. I’m just tired of the same, old arguments.

We have a problem, it’s killing millions (hey 100,000 will die before the end of the Olympics), no matter what happens people still don’t believe it, and the misinformation goes on! All I can see is we need to work out how to get ahead of it, so we can overcome it. While we’re still behind, things don’t feel like it’s going to get better anytime soon.

Thoughts?

Cheers

Andrea

 

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