Inter-personal Meetings In a Time of Covid

November 17th, 2020

This began as a tweet after I had declined to see a business traveler who flew in from a state that has been hit hard with a high per-capita rate of Covid-19. I was less concerned about travelling than his attitude of “it’s fake news, no one is really dying from Chinese virus”.

I ignored the racism — I personally don’t enjoy spending time with people who can’t control vocalizing their opinions at strangers. Hence the blurb on my screening page: “I only see clients I believe are going to leave me feeling emotionally, mentally and physically better than I did before I saw them.”

I did, however, point out the “Spanish Flu” circa World War 1 did originate in Ft. Lupton, Kansas, isn’t called the “American Flu” and that it wasn’t very deadly until it’s mutated second wave because so many asymptomatic people carried and conveyed it. Meaning people unwittingly carrying it that thought “no one is really dying from (the Spanish Flu)” were the exact reason it became so deadly. I also  provided a link to Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal “The Coronavirus Crisis” and Fox News’ coverage, querying him if those bastions of right-wing news were also making it up?

Now I must admit to mostly tuning out his responses, so not much to report from then on. But it did get me wondering: “Just how deadly is this novel coronavirus,  Covid-19?”

So onward with my original tweets:

   Looking at #Colorado‘s mortality stats relative to years past: So far there have been 2,605 known #coronavirus deaths. A weighted one-year total would be 4,825, which compares to deaths by other causes:

First, there are 120 days until March 17th, 2021, the one-year anniversary of the first #coronavirus death. November has average 18.5 deaths/day in #Colorado, meaning a weighted average would be (total deaths + (days to a full year*average deaths per day)

Or: 2605 + (120 * 18.5) = 4,825 projected one-year #coronavirus deaths. Source for Colorado numbers is from the CDC. Google “colorado 2020 coronavirus deaths”. The Trump administration required dual-reporting of C-19 deaths: first in the existing system, then in one mandated by the administration. Let’s compare that to deaths by other causes for 2017, the last full year reported: 

Morbidity Stats of the State of Colorado

CO Deaths 2017

Cause: Deaths

  1.  Cancer: 7,829
  2. Heart Disease: 7,060
  3. Accidents: 3,037
  4. Chronic Lower Res Dis: 2,604
  5. Stroke: 1,988
  6. Alzheimer’s: 1,830
  7. Suicide: 1,181
  8. Diabetes: 1,017
  9. Liver/Cirrhosis: 865
  10. Fluenza/Pneumonia: 577

Looking at the actual numbers shows C-19 is 8.36x more deadly than the flu, but less so than cancer and heart disease. Colorado is the “thinnest” state in the nation:  CBS News: Colorado is the thinnest state.  So many states have higher morbidity from heart disease than cancer…

…although heart disease and cancer do go hand-in-hand and are higher per capita: CDC: Stats of the States – Heart Disease.  This can be sorted by deaths per 100K. Oklahomans are 1.8x as likely to die of heart disease than Coloradans, and thus have a much higher pre-existing risk to C-19.

I have survived the first and fourth (since Covid is #3 this year) highest-risk-to-life scenarios — cancer and a drunk driver hitting me as a pedestrian. Given the choice to avoid possible complications from one of the top three most-deadly issues facing Coloradans today? I’m certainly going to “distance” and take precautions.

And I’d definitely appreciate it if you would too. Especially so if you plan to take the admitted risk of visiting me, or simply being around me. Wear a mask when out and about. If only because it makes me feel better, and puts others at ease.

What ever happened to doing the things that help other people? Wasn’t it the “America Way” in years past? When did “rugged individualism” meet “F you! I don’t care if I’m asymptomatic and infect others!” Are we that narcissistic as a people, America?

CONCLUSION:  Coronavirus is, in fact, real. It is also deadly. Very much so. Why is this even debated anymore?

Regardless of a minority’s separation from reality and rational thinking, give any cancer survivor — no matter of how harsh or mild their case — two options:

  1. If you had the choice of getting cancer and it would devastate your life for years,
  2. Or, all you had to do was distance a bit, wear a mask, don’t touch your face or eyes and try and maintain better hygiene and not go through the ordeal.

They’d universally pick option two. So would anyone carrying a positive-for-cancer gene: If wearing a mask in public, enclosed places for a couple months dropped your risk going forward precipitously, they’d do it. No one denies the “embrace the suck” factor of dealing with cancer.

Same goes for anyone that’s been hit by a drunk driver. What if wearing a mask meant you could’ve been a “near miss” Vs. victim, would you have worn one for a relatively short period of time? Of course they would. No one doubts, in my individual case, the “embrace the suck” factor of dealing with life-threatening accidents.

In those scenarios, survivors will convey it’s not just the risk of death and the drama of hospitalization that is onerous — the loss of income while being sick, the loss of fruitful, fun time spent being ill. Not to mention the permanent consequences of serious illness: In the case of C-19, it can be as minor as loss of taste, or as bad as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

In terms of the original point here, Covid-19? Why risk it? As we age, things get taken from us against our will. Such is life. Might as well minimize the risks of loosing what health you have left, as the best thing you own is vitality and life itself. Do everything you can to keep it that way!

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