Update on Covid 2/23/21

Thoughts by Richard Bleil

These are beginning to feel redundant. But as new milestones are being reached both worldwide and within the US, I feel obligated to write a bit about it nonetheless. Once again, I’m writing this a few days early so some of the pending milestones will probably have already been reached by the time it’s published.

According to NPR, the world has just crossed one hundred million confirmed cases of the Coronavirus (the exact number, currently, is apparently 110,958,255). Of course, these are confirmed cases; the actual number of cases are probably far higher because not everybody is getting tested if they’re feeling ill, and not everybody with the virus has symptoms to suggest they should be tested. So, what’s the true number? A quarter billion? Half a billion? Maybe more than the number of hamburgers sold by a certain clown?

Don’t eat clown burgers. They taste funny.

Of these hundred million, roughly a quarter are right here in the US. As of the writing of this blog, the US stands at 28,077,620 confirmed cases. India comes in at number 2, with 10,991,651 (these numbers are all from an NPR article), less than half of the US infection rate. Of course, the real question is relative infection rates. The US has a population of 331,000,000 and India stands at 1,380,000. This means the US has a confirmed infection rate of 8.5%, while India’s infection rate is 7%.

Yay! We’re number 1!!

The US is about to break a new milestone in Covid-19 deaths. As of the writing of this article, we stand at 497,648 dead. By the time you read this, there’s a good chance we’ll be a half a billion dead. This is about a 1.8% mortality rate for this virus. By comparison, the common flue has a mortality rate of 0.02%, or one hundredth the mortality rate of the Coronavirus. Last year, about 20,0000 people succumbed to the flu, or about 4% of the number of people who have died from Covid-19. What’s more, the Coronavirus has shown resilience through the spring and summer months whereas the flu tends to go dormant as weather warms.

There are a couple of things that should be kept in mind. First, despite what it might feel like, the Coronavirus has only been with us for about a year, having first been confirmed in the US on February 26, 2020. The damage to lifestyle, the number dead, the masses infected are just one year of damage. This insidious virus, despite what some people say, is excessively virulent and far more dangerous than the flu.

I wonder how anybody can still deny the science and danger of this virus. Most people at this point probably know at least one person who has been infected. One of my best friend’s daughter has tested positive. After a heartbreakingly difficult life, this precious little girl was born with a compromised immune system, and unfortunately, they live in South Dakota where, to this day, the governor has refused to take steps to protect the citizens of the state from anything other than marijuana. Her lip service touting of trusting the people in South Dakota to do the right thing and protect their freedom was betrayed when she led the fight in a court challenge to overturn the state election where the people voted to legalize marijuana while still refusing to require masks. Obviously, there is no way to prove this, but I will always blame her lack of action for this girl’s issues.

This virus will be with us for quite a long time. Although a vaccination has been created, it takes time to administer it to enough people to effectively fight against the virus and that’s even without the anti-vax movement. Polio as estimated to be a year or two from being completely eradicated until the anti-vaxxers managed to convince enough people of the now disproved dangers that polio has rebounded, and we are beginning to hear of the dangers of the Covid-19 vaccination even today.

Yes, the virus will continue to be with us for quite some time just like that house guest that has worn out his welcome months ago. But there is hope. The trend of new infection rates is on the decline, and with the new vaccine hopefully it will be the final surge, or, at the very least, the largest. As more people are vaccinated, some restrictions might be able to be lifted soon, including, I hope, reopening retirement homes for family and friends, and with a pro-active president the future is looking hopeful.


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