A Little Perspective

By Leslie Manookian

I am hoping that with some more information, people can relax a little so they can breathe and just focus on taking care of themselves. I don’t want anyone to get sick or die, but panic makes those things more likely. When we are frightened, cortisol is elevated in our bodies which suppresses our immune systems increasing the likelihood of illness. Does that sound like a good thing? So while the mainstream media spreads fear that a large number of us will contract or die from Covid-19, I wanted to present some numbers that will hopefully help to allay some fear.

As of the time of writing, according to Worldometers.info the US has 140,960 cases and 2457 deaths from the current pandemic.  These cases are a mixture of confirmed and presumed cases. It is important to note that CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics has given the following instructions regarding recording deaths: “Coronavirus Disease 2019 or COVID-19 should be reported on the death certificate for all decedents where the disease caused or is assumed to have caused or contributed to death.”(Emphasis mine.) We do not know how many of the deaths are confirmed and how many are presumed or how many where Covid-19 was present versus the actual cause of death.

That said, let’s look at some other statistics to gain some perspective. The US experiences:•106,000 deaths annually from properly used FDA approved drugs•1.3 million ER visits from adverse reactions to pharmaceutical drugs and 350,000 subsequent hospitalizations•40,000 medical errors EVERY day•440,000 preventable deaths from medical errors each year•4-8 million cases of “serious harm” by hospitals each year

That’s harm caused by the medical system itself. Now what about diseases and other causes of death.

According to CDC, in 2017 there were 7,708 deaths EVERY DAY. For the year, the number of deaths by the leading cause of death was the following:

  • Heart disease: 647,457
  • Cancer: 599,108
  • Accidents (unintentional injuries): 169,936
  • Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 160,201
  • Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 146,383
  • Alzheimer’s disease: 121,404
  • Diabetes: 83,564
  • Influenza and Pneumonia: 55,672
  • Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis: 50,633
  • Intentional self-harm (suicide): 47,173
  • Motor vehicle accidents: 38,659
  • Falls (unintentional): 36,338
  • Pedestrians: 6,480

Medical errors are the third leading cause of death – but CDC leaves that data off the table.What about flu this year? So far for the 2019-2020 season, CDC estimates there have been 38-54 million cases of flu, 400,000-730,000 hospitalizations, and 24,000-62,000 deaths. This data reflects estimates from October 1, 2019 through March 21, 2020 so on average (using the midpoint of their ranges) there have been about 270,000 cases of and 250 deaths from flu every day. In comparison, using the Worldometers data noted above, there have been on average 2013 cases of and 35 deaths from Covid-19. One point that bears mentioning is that as more and more folks are tested for Covid-19, the number of cases will rocket and the death rate from it will drop. As an example, some scientists have suggested that in the UK, Covid-19 has been around at least a month longer than realized and that roughly half the population has been exposed which is 33 million people. The Worldometers stats for the UK are 19,522 cases and 1,228 deaths.

While we encourage you all to take care of yourselves by eating well, managing stress, exercising, and sleeping, we hope these statistics will help to allay the fear by providing some perspective.

One last thing, I have seen multiple reports that taking ibuprofen during a bout of Covid-19 can worsen the illness so wanted to share that. I am not a doctor so cannot give medical advice but if it were me, I would not take any kind of fever reducer as fever is the body’s natural way to fight infection.

Be well!