COVID-19 and the Politics of Fear and Panic

We are in the midst of a cold-virus pandemic.  As of March 31, its worldwide mortality ratio is 4.9% and 1.9% in the U.S.  Both of these mortality ratios lie within the range of mortality from seasonal influenza epidemics of recent years, which range from fractions of a percent (U.S.) to upwards of 5%.  Thus, the 1,012 and 451 deaths caused by Sweden's previous two flu seasons accounted for 4.9% and 3.3% of confirmed cases, respectively.  The mortality ratio of Sweden's current COVID-19 epidemic falls exactly midway between these flu percentages, at 4.1% (180 dead of 4,435 confirmed cases, March 31 figures).  In all these cases, the age distribution of risk of dying from the virus is similar, being concentrated in the elderly and those with otherwise compromized health status. According to these numbers, we appear to be dealing with a viral infection that, as far as its deadliness is concerned, lies within the range of...(Read Full Article)
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