Question 2. How Dangerous Is COVID-19?

A. Is COVID-19 Dangerous?

When the weekly deaths in New York City shot up in April, Federal and State Governments sprang into action. Various health departments planned for the worst and issued dire warnings. State governors began issuing shelter-in-place orders and the shut-down of nonessential businesses. As data came in, it showed that the death rate peaked around April 21, 2020 and then started its downward trend. And when antibody tests began to emerge, they indicated that the virus was far less deadly than first believed. 

The latest study by the CDC suggests that the morbidity of COVID-19 is similar to or lower than the 2018 influenza/pneumonia statistics.   But in determining how dangerous a disease is depends on more factors than its death rate.   It also depends on the disease contagiousness.   COVID-19 is 2.5 times more contagious than the normal influenza. 

B. Death Rate Calculations.

The death rate is the number of deaths divided by the number of people infected. However, equating confirmed infections with actual infections overstates the death rate. Antibody testing by multiple nations have reported that “confirmed infections” were 7 to 85 times lower than “actual infections.”

The adjusted US Death Rate shows that COVID-19 has a death rate of about 0.22. However new data suggests it may be considerably lower than that.  The typical influenza death rate is about 0.16.

The data also shows that 90% of COVID-19 deaths occur in people over 65. This is consistent with influenza where 85% of the deaths are in people over 65.

Many in the media have stated that COVID-19 is the leading cause of death in the United States. This is not true and was based on a isolated moment in time. The deaths associated with heart disease is over 900,000/yr, cancer at 700,000/yr, along with a long, long list of others with higher mortality rates.  New report from the CDC suggests that the mortality rate of COVID-19 is about the same as the 2018 influenza/pneumonia but 2.5 times more contagious. 

C. Are There Concurrent Causes?

Rarely is there a single cause for a death.  The COVID-19 infections coincide with widespread influenza infections.  Influenza spread rating, over multiple years, shows that the 7 states with the highest influenza spread rating had 60% of all COVID-19 deaths.  The 13 states with the lowest influenza spread had 10 times less, at 6%.  Both groups had equal populations.  

COVID-19 has spread throughout the world, but the deaths are mostly limited to the Northern Hemisphere during the time when influenza was widespread.  The COVID-19 deaths began to drop about 6 weeks after the influenza virus presence began to drop, and the slopes of each curve appear surprisingly similar. 

A new study from the CDC suggests that COVID-19 has about the same mortality rate as the 2018 influenza/pneumonia outbreak, but far more contagious.  A study out of Italy compared Covid-19 deaths between people that had a Flu shot and those that did not.  It showed that people without a flu shot had around 12 percent deaths whereas those that had a flu shot had a death rate of around 6 percent.  That is a very large and significant difference showing the existence of a possible concurrent cause situation.

These factors strongly imply that the deaths attributed to COVID-19 are a result of two (or more) causes.  By removing one cause, i.e. the flu, it diminishes the effects from the other cause, i.e. COVID-19.  

D. Is There Synergism Between Concurrent Causes?

Synergism is where two or more factors combine to yield a result that is more than the sum of the individual factors separately. The argument for why you can’t drink alcohol with certain drugs is often associated with synergism.  The human body has a harder time fighting off two simultaneous infections as opposed to fighting off either infection, when handled separately. 

The number of people projected to be infected with COVID-19, along with a 10-fold increase of COVID-19 deaths located in the high influenza states, may support synergism. 

If synergism is involved, then attacking any one of the contributing factor could dramatically reduce the consequences.

ANSWER TO QUESTION 2. [Quorvita]

COVID-19 is dangerous, but so is influenza. It appears that in 2020 there was a combination of influenza and COVID-19 that made this year so difficult. If it is indeed a combination, then the Southern Hemisphere should prepare (perhaps via flu vaccination) for potential problems.

Multinational antibody testing indicates that COVID-19 is far more widespread than at first believed. The mortality rate of COVID-19 is now estimated to be about the same or slightly less than the 2018 influenza outbreak.  However, COVID-19 it considerably more contagious than the flu and both factors must be considered.

In order to truly answer the “how dangerous” question, a statistical analysis with random samplings is needed. As of writing this, one has not been done.