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Coronavirus. (Photo: Center for Disease Control)

Coronavirus Hysteria: The Numbers Don’t Warrant the Media Hype

There are already 18,000 deaths this year from the seasonal flu, while only 18 deaths this year from coronavirus

By Katy Grimes, March 9, 2020 2:41 pm

Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency in California because of the 114 reported cases of the coronavirus in the state of 40 million residents. Was this to play into the hand of the media, which has hyped the flu virus as the next plague, particularly because every year, tens of thousands of people die of that season’s flu?

Common human coronaviruses cause mild to moderate upper respiratory symptoms, including the common cold, while more severe types can cause pneumonia and death, NPR reported.

Let’s call it Trumpvirus,” a New York Times opinion writer said. Cable news hosts wear their most dire faces while reporting on the coronavirus flu, as though the United States has never seen or dealt with an outbreak.

An Associated Press article was equally dramatic and hysterical: “Crossing more borders, the new coronavirus hit a milestone Friday, infecting more than 100,000 people worldwide as it wove itself deeper into the daily lives of millions, infecting the powerful, the unprotected poor and vast masses in between.”

Conspicuously missing from the AP article is the important distinction that being “infected” for nearly everyone is not life-threatening, and most people don’t even know they had the virus.

This coronavirus, first observed in late December in Wuhan, China, and was reported to the World Health Organization China bureau in Beijing. By January 31, 2020, President Donald Trump had declared a public health emergency and began restricting U.S. access to non-citizens from China.

“Compare Trump’s response time to the H1N1 pandemic in June 2009, when American health officials declared a public health emergency, but it wasn’t until four months later, October, that then-President Obama declared an H1N1 national emergency. By that time, the disease had infected millions of Americans and more than 1,000 people had died in the U.S.,” PJ Media reported.

Imagine if the media gave this much coverage to an actual pandemic health danger in California: hundreds of thousands of homeless drug addicts and the mentally ill living in squalor on city streets throughout California. Hepatitis, typhus, typhoid fever, and threats of Bubonic Plague are real in cities with homeless people living on streets, on rivers and in parks.

Actual Annual Flu Statistics

According to the Center for Disease Control, the 2018-2019 flu season, lasting 21 weeks, was the longest in a decade; 61,200 died, 647,000 people were hospitalized. The CDC says that is on par with a typical flu season.

In 2018, nearly 80,000 Americans died of nasty flu, the kind that more people end up in the hospital with. It caused more deaths, particularly among young children and the elderly.

In recent years, flu-related deaths have ranged from about 12,000 to — in the worst year — 56,000, according to the CDC, prior to 2018.

Did Sierra College close down in 2018 when two students tested positive for the flu? No, but it closed this week for two cases of coronavirus. How about the Elk Grove School District – did it close in 2018 for one case of the flu? Nope. But that is what the school district announced over the weekend, because of one case of coronavirus.

With 10 new virus cases in Bay Area, San Francisco public schools cancel “nonessential” public events.

For 2 cases of coronavirus, the Riverside County Public Health Department declared a public health emergency, including Indian Wells where the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament was to play the two-week event, normally attended by 450,000.

Occasionally during flu season, a small office will close down and post a sign: “Out sick with flu.” That’s a small office where everyone caught the flu. But if one person caught the flu the office would not shut down.

“Shocking. Elk Grove Unified School District closing its doors this week because one of its students was being quarantined for the coronavirus is shocking,” Marcos Breton with the Sacramento Bee wrote. “More shocking. Saturday’s announcement, with such widespread implications, including the possibility of triggering public anxiety and panic, was rolled out with little or no coordination between the county’s public health department or key elected officials in Sacramento, even though a letter to parents Saturday said ‘this complex decision involved close collaboration and coordination with our Board of Trustees, labor groups, the Sacramento County Office of Education and the Sacramento County Public Health Department.’”

The fatality rate is one percent or lower, despite the media claiming a much higher rate. “As the nation gears for battle against coronavirus, our biggest enemy is false information,”  Betsy McCaughey wrote at Fox News. “Trump officials from the Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services have been briefing the public daily, as they fine-tune their response to this rapidly evolving global virus. So Senators, just go to cdc.gov to read the 52-page plan and stop whining.”

McCaughey said so far there are 18 deaths this year from coronavirus while there are already 18,000 deaths this year from the seasonal flu. The hype is political and more dangerous than a flu virus.

UPDATE: The CDC reports on March 10 there are now 25 deaths from coronavirus.

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67 thoughts on “Coronavirus Hysteria: The Numbers Don’t Warrant the Media Hype

  1. My own daily survey of California online newspapers and local online news showed that nearly EVERY SINGLE STORY is about this darn coronavirus in some way, no matter how delicate the tie to it. It’s becoming somewhat comical. The editors are apparently brainstorming absurd connections and parceling out the results to writers (but I’m sure not in person, heaven forbid, only electronically). The topic is obviously regarded as “clickbait,” but I wonder if it is having the opposite effect for most people. The story below was my favorite:
    “How to Keep Your Relationship Intact if You’re Forced to Work from Home Because of the Coronavirus Outbreak”
    https://www.businessinsider.com/does-working-from-home-hurt-a-relationship-what-experts-say-2020-2
    Thanks, Katy, for being one of the few in the entire state to cover the hysteria angle, give us the facts, and point to the very real problems in CA that we should be tackling instead; e.g., flu, homelessness/vagrancy, etc.

    1. This situation is becoming surreal….
      I hope that one day we’ll be able to look back and see how unnecessary (and damaging) the hysteria was and be able to tamp it down the next time around.

      1. I am embarrassed by the apathy of my fellow citizens. Will someone please stand up and say “stop it.”
        NBA, MLB, NHL and March Madness suspensions, really? All that is being accomplished by the closures and panic is the slowing down of our economy and real life proof to the rest of the world that Americans are easily duped. What say we pay more attention to the opioid epidemic. It kills over 100 people a day. No, it is not contagious, but much deadlier.

        1. I love your article and thoroughly agree. Look what it is doing to our country. Do you think some of this is political?

          1. Thank you for posting this, I was saying basically this whole argument last night (to deaf ears) then I found your article already written while I went Stats checking my facts. Hype of this level is so out of proportion, the perpetrators should be charged with Domestic Terrorism. It is a psy-op for the police state testing its tolerance/control boundaries for the benumbed populace; and simultaneously an economic blow to china and those who do business with them. (think wallymart) Thank the old gods that we still have bright, thinking, defiant, courageous and true writers, in this land of zombies. You are a noblewoman and a Joan of arc Mrs Grimes! Keep it up. There are so few of you left.

        2. Welcome to the new liberal world. Hard to believe politicians would destroy a US economy to further their cause but thats what they are doing. And whats sad, so many American are so fing stupid to believe the hype. Our country is truly screwed if we have a voter base that hoards TP and thinks they are going to die from this.

          1. Trust me, its happening throughout the world.. At least the ‘developed’ world.
            As George Orwell said: While I’m writing this, very civilized men are flying above, dropping bombs on me..

      2. Here’s my context on the hysteria- I doubt the total death toll around coronavirus in the U.S. reaches 2,500 in 2020. The subsequent years will have a sharp decline. The economic impact will be felt longer than the hysteria lasts. Businesses WILL close and jobs WILL be lost.
        Recognize by contrast that 48,344 Americans died at their own hands (2018). The largest demographic has been middle-aged white males. Suicide has its roots in mental illness and despondency. A permanent solution to temporary problems. I would venture to say that in 2020 America will experience more suicides related to the fear generated by the coronavirus hysteria than the coronavirus. And no accountability for the hysteria.

      3. Amen. The math utilized in the “models” is flawed because we have no idea how many people have contracted the virus and are asymptomatic. Just look at the basketball teams that have been tested, most positive cases are not experiencing symptoms and represent a large portion of the population that is not being tested since they are not millionaire sports stars. The true mortality rate after all is said and done will be no greater than the flu. China has fueled this hysteria due to their inaccurate reporting of their data. One could make a good argument this is just one attempt of the Chinese to disrupt the world economy in their grand scheme to overtake the US as “the world power”. Unfortunately for Americans, this drama is conveniently creating the type of drama Democrats love in their constant attempts to attack Trump. I will state I proudly voted for Trump and will do so again in November but his reaction to this pandemic has been disappointing with the shutdown of our economy due to some of his “experts” relying on highly inaccurate information. In his defense, the political climate and hysteria is worldwide but as each country has started to get reliable data, the true picture shows this virus is not any more deadly than the flu that wreaks havoc on us each year.

    2. Thank you for some sanity on this virus. I stopped believing the main stream media years ago but now I’m starting to lose my belief in human intelligence. People today are just a member of the herd instead of self thinkers who investigate for themselves.

  2. Posting the link below because I thought Globe readers might be interested in reading myth-buster Michael Fumento’s piece as a complement to Katy Grimes’ piece. He is a fact-based “one in a million” type who has been writing about this stuff for many years, and always manages to bring an historical yet fresh perspective to the public square during periods of “disease outbreak” and other hysteria. It should calm some nerves:
    “Coronavirus is going to hit its peak and start falling sooner than you think”
    https://nypost.com/2020/03/08/coronavirus-going-to-hit-its-peak-and-start-falling-sooner-than-you-think/

  3. While I can’t believe a word out of the mainstream American press on this virus, other factors don’t add up. In particular, why is half of Italy on lock down? Are the Italians party to the American media consensus to bring down Trump and cause a global recession all at once? Why have other nations overreacted, if that is the case? At first I thought the huge international response was a deliberate overreaction in order to develop international capacity to handle a pandemic, so that when a genuine one comes along they’re bee more prepared. That’s a good thing. But if that’s part of the reason for the massive response, did they bank on creating a worldwide recession? What’s really going on internationally?

    Then there are medical unknowns. Apparently COVID 19 has more tolerance for surviving outside the body, and is more contagious, than the average flu or the average COVID virus. And it is contagious for a relatively long period prior to symptoms which guarantees more transmission. And we don’t know if hot weather kills the virus? Or are all of these concerns just more media BS?

    There are unanswered questions. But the media’s willingness to play this up for all it’s worth in order to get Trump is more crying wolf, more agenda driven “news,” more damage to their already shattered credibility, and an absolutely unforgivable flirtation with the economic catastrophe that could ensue if this deflationary cascade isn’t stopped, and soon.

    1. Jack be sure to read Michael Fumento’s short piece at the link that is attached to my comment above yours. The guy knows what he is talking about; I’ve been following him for years. The article will directly and indirectly answer your questions.

    2. I wondered the same thing, from the time the news showed hospital workers and ambulance drivers wearing “hazmat” suits. It just seemed over-kill to me. Yes, the numbers of “infections” are climbing, but I wouldn’t call it “alarming.” Deaths, you can count on your fingers and toes, and how many billions of people live in the world?

      Political? Trump’s enemies, from early on, say he’s “done too little, too late.” Good strategy! Tie the names of those you hate to the coronavirus. Global Manipulation? Those who are pushing for one-world-government could test different scenarios – see which ones work best for population control, then hype it to the max. Anyone who questions the seriousness of the disease is a “coronavirus denier.”

      What’s the coronavirus costing the world, financially? Why not take that money and wipe out Malaria and other diseases in poor, undeveloped countries? There’s a reason we don’t. But you’d have to ask the “powers that be” behind the scenes and they don’t talk.

      It’s kind of sad that we now question what we see on the news and hear from the government and its agencies. But, really, is it our fault?

  4. Thank you, Katy, for your insightful review and analysis of the statistics regarding the virus that emanated out of Wuhan in Red China. Didn’t Rahm Emanuel once advise the Democrats, “Never let a good crisis go to waste”? In addition to the numbers (i.e., results) of this virus, I would also like to know more about its causes. Isn’t Red China’s main biological weapons facility located in or near Wuhan? Why is the American media not so interested in this important subject? Do they want to avoid embarrassing the communists? Wouldn’t it help our medical scientists address this virus if they knew more about its causes? Inquiring minds should want to know.

  5. Why do you suppose “they” are doing this? This hyping a panic situation? I’m so sick of being manipulated and lied to. Thanks for your reporting Katy. Going to follow you and this site now. And review “statistics” in general to find out what the “real pandemics” are compared to this hype job. Drudge today is out of all reason. “They” must have co-opted his site or he’s being blackmailed. Merkel says 70% of Germans are going to get it, or words to that effect. When I see a satanic globalist like that hyping the panic, I feel this is just another one of their “tricks” — order out of chaos kind of occultism. Damn these bastards..

  6. I just got back from my local grocery store and was really disappointed in the behavior I witnessed. Hoarding of bottled water, no paper towels, no toilet paper. Long lines of very frightened-looking people. Here in L.A. County we have only had 1 death out of over 10,000,000 people. And this is how people react? These are the same people who freaked out over Y2K. The same people who in the 1980s wanted to ban children with HIV from going to school. It’s a stunning mixture of ignorance and cowardice on full display.

  7. Facts! I stumbled on this piece as I had just been saying the same thing to a friend. How glad I am to know it’s not just me who thinks there’s something amiss. Although it does inevitably beg the question, why? What is it all for? What other reasons would we all be instructed to stay in our homes? For what reason would flights be suspended if it weren’t this? Who stands to gain financially or politically on a global scale, from a worldwide economic recession? I don’t know the answers by the way, just asking the questions. Great thought provoking piece Katy! Thanks for being out there ✌️

  8. Well said, Katy. Thanks for being rational. Hysteria, overreaction, and paranoia are abounding in a moment that is showing our species to be as stupid as its been since maybe the Medieval period. Those of us who’ve lived through AIDS, Y2K, H1N1, avian flu, Mad Cow, and every other overhyped “killer” know better.
    I’m not saying don’t be cautious. I’m not saying humans aren’t vulnerable to viruses. I’m just saying that the inanity of the “cancel everything” reaction is on par with treating maladies with leeches and bloodletting.
    Literally breathing the air in California is more dangerous than this Corona virus. Air pollution kills more people than cigarettes or warfare yet we’re worried about some nothing? When Tom Hanks and his wife and Rudy Gobert and every other celebrity who has it is still alive two weeks from now, will the chicken littles apologize and say they were wrong? Surely not. But they will be, and it’s important to note that.

    1. Exactly Sean. This is the kind of thinking we all need to emulate. Are the stupidest people running the media? Something needs to change. I can’t believe that there is no one in all of the newsrooms that is scratching there head and challenging the crap that is being put out over the air. Mind boggling it is.

  9. I love your article and thoroughly agree. Look what it is doing to our country. Do you think some of this is political?

  10. Thank you for being the voice of reason in a politically fired media storm of hype and misinformation. I went to the store yesterday to pick up some toilet paper because we were out. The first sign that something was amiss was the lack of parking. Yeah, I had to wait in line for a parking space. Once in the store, every register was open (never happens) and the lines were 10 – 12 deep (what?). I went to the tissue isle and the shelves were empty. I found one six pack of over priced toilet paper misplaced on the opposite side of the isle. In the checkout lines were people with arm loads and basket loads of toilet paper, paper towels and wipes. I had to ask myself what did I miss? Is the cure or prevention for this virus disposable paper products? Speaking to people in line, no one could offer an explanation for the run on the market. Some thought that super markets were going to be closed and so everyone was stocking up on essentials. Really? Again, did I miss something? And why, if there is a legitimate threat of store closures, would people stock up on toilet paper and paper towels? I’m pretty sure that I can maintain my personal hygiene without toilet paper and I can even clean and sanitize all of my hard surfaces without paper towels. So how is it that so many have given themselves over to such hysteria? What is the driving force behind this frenzy? Who stands to profit? These are the questions that need asking. The only good I can see coming from all of this BS is that maybe now when people get sick they will stay home. Maybe people will use their sick time for when they are actually sick so that they can afford to stay home and not spread the common seasonal viruses that kill thousands of people every year. Maybe they will keep their kids at home when they are sick and maybe people will start washing their hands and stop sneezing and coughing on people if , for some reason, they have to go out in public when they are sick. And maybe, in those countries that love to eat and bring to open markets the weirdest of “delicacies”, people will stop and think about the health threats of such and take proper steps to avoid these crossover outbreaks of viruses. So my advise to the media is, sit down and shut up! And for the rest of us, go about your normal business, don’t eat any bats, and wash your hands! That’s it, that’s all. I got nothing else. LL

  11. Thank you for being one of the only journalists I have seen who actually writes the truth. This panic in our nation is absurd.

  12. Could this be the devil’s handy work? Wake up people!!!! God bless America! and God bless Donald Trump! Shame on the news media. To President Trump, Your doing a good job under all the persecution. Keep the Faith, stay strong and carry on!!!

  13. Fantastic. Glad there are journalists out there reporting truths, and not just sensationalizing this outbreak. And glad to see that not all folks are buying into the media-driven hysteria. This scientist applauds you!

  14. Absolutely agree 7 BILLION people in the world, 160,000 infections and 8000 deaths.

    Roughly 0.002% of the population have been affected and 0.0001% have died.

    In Florida we have 132 active cases to date according to the media, but when you actually look at the CDC stats for our state 1/3 of these cases are actually not confirmed and still under investigation. Furthermore only 43 of the 300+ people who were exposed to the first two cases here (elderly husband and wife) tested positive but did not become severely ill.

    Our state population is 18 million so roughly 0.006% have been impacted.

    Yet here we are on almost complete lock down.

    Meanwhile In Florida there was a novel influenza A strain discovered this year with no vaccine either. (Florida Department of Health) While it hasn’t affected many people so far , has anyone even heard of it?

    In the United States the 60 deaths from COVIDC (as of today) equates to one the death per day NATIONWIDE since the first case was documented on January 20th.

    On the other hand 36 million people (11% of the population) got the flu and a MINIMUM estimate of 22, 000 people died. That correlates to 146 deaths per DAY over the five month active flu season.

    Yes COVID is ‘more deadly” but the numbers aren’t even close to the impact of the flu and certainly doesn’t warrant 24 hour nonstop coverage.

  15. I am a doctor, and a certified registered medical examiner. I want to say, GREAT JOB! Right on the money this article.

  16. This is a scam to test if “they” can control the entire population with rumors and hype. They got their answer and we are all screwed because the Democrats are amazing at bullying and starting crap for no good reason. This is ridiculous!!!! It’s disgusting!! And it’s scary that they can screw up stuff so incredibly and so easily. Congrats democrats….you did it.!!! You are officially the dumbest sheep on the planet and are ruining your own country.

  17. Evil lies and diabolical deceptions,like the day the earth stood still,because,moving targets are harder to hit and more difficult to capture…

  18. Too close to the horrible truth?! super hyped corona virus,preliminary bombardments for an evil alien invasion,aided and abetted by the warped democrats and their diabolical lies and deceptions,like the day the earth stood still, because,moving targets are more difficult to control and capture and erradicate…

  19. Google is part of the problem… Only one link to this article which calls the coronavirus hysteria for what it is – an attempt by politicians to control the entire population. How can 100% of the population be denied basic liberties (right of assembly) just because of something that affects < 0.00000001% of the population.

  20. Here are my bibles: ‘The Coming Plague’, ‘The Encyclopedia of Plague and Pestilence’, ‘Spillover’, any college microbiology textbook, and any history of political maneuvering, especially those centered on economic badgering since the Industrial Revolution. Who is at the core of this hype? I questioned Trump’s appointment of Pence initially, but his insight became clear as the medical and pharmaceutical hegemony emerged in pushing the public to frenzy. Pence was actually, in his non-medical stance, not biased. I haven’t even read any reports of his genuflecting to the mysterious whims of God, which I believe is further testimony to an awakening of secular strength. I’m going on the record to all, I oppose the hysteria. I just wish I could capitalize on it – I have no qualms against taking money from those who wish to deny the facts. I’ll clean your house, deliver your groceries, tutor you on-line. Last point: Why haven’t we been reminded of the Hong Kong Influenza of 1968-69? Excellent article. I will send it to everyone I know. I think more people died of the plague last year.

  21. As the media hype gains more momentum fueled by county health “officials”, we are now locked down here in California waiting for more of our rights to be removed as the State gears up to send in the national guard. These are the first steps leading to Marital Law and the complete removal of our constitutional rights and freedom. I know that this sounds like conspiratorial thinking but in this case the evidence belies the intent. Never before has there been such a response to something that poses no comparative threat. As noted in this article and the comments, the common (if you can call it that) seasonal flu is more of a threat as have been other divergent strains of the flu that have appeared over the years. So one has to ask why? Why is the response from the government for this particular virus at this particular time so intense and radical? Reasonable people can sense that there is something else behind it all. We wait for it to unfold.

  22. I agree 100% Dan. I’m a black american and now i know there is a great injustice done to us by the Democats. Most black Americans don’t know that the party that freed the slaves were the Republicans. What good is knowledge is ignorance prevails. I have lost my faith in common people having good sense. I will be voting for Trump in the fall. Democrats are acting worse than republicans. When prior president Obama didn’t raise taxes on the wealthy during his 2 terms in office, I knew that the democrats has lost their perspective. Money rules this country.

    1. Lol “money rules this country” and “I’ll be voting for trump in the fall” just proves that the average American has no business in policits and should not have the right to vote with the level of ignorance they bring to the table.

  23. Katy Grimes, your article definitely fits the bill what the German Dr. Wolfgang Wogard is saying. Maybe we need more doctors and scientists to look at this with a fresh and open mind before they put our entire country into panic and martial law over nothing?

  24. It’s an acid test to see how gullible and hysteric the populace is. Looks like everything is working as it should.

  25. All those numbers of celebrities and politicians claiming or reported to have tested positive and be ALL counted as on of those very few 20,000 people/cases out of 350million Americans ???????? unless this virus just aggressively and cleverly seeks out celebrities and politicians successfully as main targets or theres some dramatically different concerning statistics not being disclosed to commoners. say If there was a typical town with a population of only 20,000, how likely would it be for that number of known celebs and politicians to be all coincidentally living in that same ordinary town among only 20,000 ordinary citizens??? Think of those odds!!!! 2+2=🤔🤔🤔😳🤭4

  26. It’ll be good to save a link to this article, as it’s likely to be eventually taken down (to save Katy’s career) given that its reckless assertions are becoming more inaccurate by the day.
    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

    p.s. If you taking extra precautions for COVID-19 while bashing the “hysteria”, your hypocrisy is overwhelming. Cause why be worried if it’s no worse that the flu?!

  27. Ask yourself this Dave, what makes a virus dangerous, could it possibly be the number of people it kills in a year? Maybe we should revisit this article this time next year, when we can compare the deaths from COVID19 and the deaths from just FLU? A WHO report, the first to be published, from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and coordinated by WHO, estimated that influenza is associated with 290 000 to 650 000 deaths from respiratory causes alone, in 2018/19.
    As of today, the deaths from COVID19 stand at 22,180 Worldwide.

    In the UK 2017/2018, 26,026 people died from Influenza, I don’t ever remember reading a single story about any of the deaths or it being mentioned on the news. No businesses were closed, no Schools shut.
    As of today 465 people have died of COVID19 in the UK, many with under lying health problems. Everything is closed, whole towns are in lockdown, the supermarket shelves are empty, businesses are closing….and yet the numbers just don’t add up when you compare the amount of disruption to the deaths.

  28. Steve, ask yourself these questions:
    1) Why trust numbers from an organization that publishes flu numbers but ignore their dire warnings about COVID-19? (i.e. Are they simultaneously trustworthy and hysterical?)
    2) How are the flu numbers derived? (Answer: They are an extrapolation of lab results and modeled/estimated cases of those who never got tested. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/how-cdc-estimates.htm#References)
    3) How are the COVID-19 numbers derived? (Answer: They are currently the raw lab results because there is no model for such a new virus.)
    4) Why does this matter? (Answer: Raw numbers versus extrapolated numbers are wildly different, and the reality is that the number of COVID-19 cases is much, much higher than what is being published. Fauche has repeatedly backed this up in many interviews.)
    5) Will we look back and say “only 10,000 US citizens died from COVID-19 in 2020; thus, it was a hysterical overreaction”? (Answer: Many of the commenters on this post will do exactly that with an unfortunate level of distrust of future warnings. However, WHO, CDC and those of us who examined the numbers ourselves will consider this an unappreciated victory that the numbers weren’t 1-3M. Frankly, the infectious disease officials have an unenviable job as they are blamed if lots of people die and crucified as alarmists when their actions are effective because fewer died.)

    Had Katy published this article back in Jan or Feb, it wouldn’t have been a big deal because many authors were making the invalid flu/coronavirus correlation; however, on March 9, the numbers and warnings were based on solid evidence. Articles such as this are reckless this late in the game because it causes my parents and your parents to not take the warnings seriously, putting them at unnecessary risk.

  29. If it’s our duty to keep our government honest, then how can we actually do that? All the news outlets are in line with what the government is saying and using to impose draconian measures. So where’s the independent oversight? The CDC is government owned (the .gov should tell you something), and the World Health Organization just echos everything the CDC and governments are saying.
    Who’s asking any hard questions besides a few articles like this? Where are the death certificates? Did we properly examine the testing and if it can even differentiate from the common cold which has corona strains..
    All the news/media outlets are for-profit corporations, outside of profanity and nudity they can show/say whatever they want…

    1. Hey Chris, your concerns are valid, and we should all be skeptical of the many sources of information being constantly thrown at us. Unfortunately, this article doesn’t question any of the sources you mention with any sort of efficacy. As I alluded above, cherry picking numbers from the same government-based organizations that are being criticized is an ineffective argument at best. Anyone continuing to compare this to the flu has to ask themselves these questions:

      1) Why are hospitals in affected areas being overrun with dead bodies, and why doesn’t this happen in flu season? (source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bE68xVXf8Kw)
      2) When do you recall the flu wiping out a nursing home and many of its staff? (conservative news source: https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/03/coronavirus-outbreak-how-it-spread-nationwide-from-washington-state-nursing-home/)
      3) Where are the “death certificates” for all the flu victims? (Answer: They don’t exist, because the flu numbers are estimates. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/how-cdc-estimates.htm#References )
      4) Why does one need death certificates to be convinced of an epidemic, and ultimately, what reasonably obtainable evidence could be provided to convince someone that something is seriously amiss with COVID-19? (Partial answer: It’s a damn good question, but if you can’t come up with an answer, reading this misinformed article isn’t going to provide much comfort.)

  30. Deaths are piling up now since this article has been written. This article should be updated and reflect the seriousness of this issue. It is not a joke and it is not the flu. We are now just starting to go into the peak.. March 28th.

    1. Deaths are piling up? The CDC is reporting Total COVID-19 cases: 103,321, and Total COVID-19 deaths: 1,668.
      https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fcases-in-us.html

      The CDC also reports 38,000,000 – 54,000,000 seasonal flu illnesses, and 24,000 – 62,000 seasonal flu deaths this year.
      https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/preliminary-in-season-estimates.htm

      Too many in the media are using the very real illness to spread hysteria, and not differentiating between those who are actually very sick and hospitalized, from those who have tested positive to COVID-19. And the recovery rate is 98.3% or better.

  31. My wife is an ER nurse at a local hospital here in CA. This Covid 19 emergency is very real. She’s worked at the hospital for 20 years and never has it been overrun like this. People who have tested positive for Covid 19 are doubling daily. The ventilators are all being used. Katy should be ashamed of herself for writing this article and spreading mis-information to the gullible. Morally bankrupt for sure. Us self righteous Americans need to take this seriously. I see some who have read this article are smart enough to ask, “why are other governments shutting down?” It’s a situation to be taken seriously. STOP. SPREADING. B.S. KATY.

    1. The CDC is reporting Total COVID-19 cases: 103,321, and Total COVID-19 deaths: 1,668. Too many in the media are using the very real illness to spread hysteria, and not differentiating between those who are actually very sick and hospitalized, from those who have tested positive to COVID-19. And the recovery rate is 98.3% or better.
      https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fcases-in-us.html

      They also report 38,000,000 – 54,000,000 seasonal flu illnesses, and 24,000 – 62,000 deaths this year. Quoting actual numbers isn’t spreading BS.
      https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/preliminary-in-season-estimates.htm

  32. Deaths are piling up? The CDC is reporting Total COVID-19 cases: 103,321, and Total COVID-19 deaths: 1,668.
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fcases-in-us.html

    The CDC also reports 38,000,000 – 54,000,000 seasonal flu illnesses, and 24,000 – 62,000 seasonal flu deaths this year.
    https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/preliminary-in-season-estimates.htm

    Too many in the media are using the very real illness to spread hysteria, and not differentiating between those who are actually very sick and hospitalized, from those who have tested positive to COVID-19. And the recovery rate is 98.3% or better.

  33. Katy, it’s clear you haven’t read any of my previous comments as I’ve debunked your comparisons with numbers and factual analogies. Even if your number “98.3% recovery rate” is/was accurate, this is a death toll in the millions in the US. Instead of stubbornly digging in with your boilerplate tagline of blaming the media, I implore you to answer my previous questions posted to this chat. Sadly, you are in position to easily do the right thing, but instead, you are continuing to recklessly mislead your readers. Here are some of the questions, in case you missed them above:

    1) Why are hospitals being overrun with COVID-19 bodies, and why doesn’t this happen in flu season?
    2) Why are you comparing flu number estimates/projections to actual real-time COVID-19 deaths?
    3) What number of COVID-19 deaths in the US would warrant the media (and the rest of us) to be “hysterical”?
    4) What would possibly convince you that you’re wrong and write a follow-up article stating your misjudgement?

  34. Thank you, Katy!

    The hysteria surrounding COVID-19 is causing the world, in particular the “free” world, to willingly relinquish our rights and freedoms. THAT is as terrifying as the destruction of the global economy.

    A CDC report confirmed cases in the US, in January. They only tested 210 people. 11 tested positive. (Link below)

    Why does that report matter? The virus is highly contagious and spreads rapidly. In late 2019 and early 2020 a “mystery virus” was raging through the US. (In fact, my husband and two daughters were severely ill in late January, and so were a LOT of other people. Many schools closed due to illness.) They tested negative for the flu and were all diagnosed with a “severe upper respiratory virus”. Only 210 people were tested, in the entire US, for COVID-19, in January. If the virus spreads as rapidly as believed, it is statistically improbable (maybe impossible) that only 11 people, in the US, contracted this virus, in January.

    And here we sit, months later, watching people’s lives being destroyed. (And most of them not because of illness or death.) The virus cannot do any more damage, today, than it was already doing in January and February. (Who knows? Maybe long before that time. Since when does anyone trust the Chinese government?)

    For everyone talking about the exponential increase in cases of this virus, you must consider that this virus has been in the US, for months. The majority of ill patients were not being tested, until recently. People are panicking, now. Draconian type measures are being taken, now. Why? It does not make scientific sense.

    https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6906e1.htm

  35. This article quite clearly comes from the country that brought us The Muppets. Maybe you don’t get much international news? Italy and Spain are having daily deaths in excess of 800 a day each each at the moment. The most erudite responses to this article have been made by Dave and are yet to be properly addressed by Katy. The problem is that many people don’t seem to look further than the end of their noses let alone the bigger wider picture of the world beyond. I wonder what Katy thinks is happening in New York? Or maybe she is sunning herself in American Samoa where , according to the Johns Hopkins university website, there are currently no recorded cases.

  36. Bottom line, how many people died from this cov-19 vs other causes of death. Is it enough to shit down the whole country. The endemic to this whole thing is everyone within the next 1-2 years will be infected with cov-19. Let nature takes it course, live our lives as we always do and this will all go away. Shutting down the whole country will have a long term affect on a short term problem. 250,000 people drowned every year, let’s get rid of all swimming pools. 1.2 millions died from car accident, let’s close down all the roads.

  37. It’s a very trying time for everyone due to losing loved ones and/or the loss of financial security, but everyone (around the world) is being significantly impacted. Two things that are very difficult for humans to comprehend (a) things we can’t see/touch directly and (b) exponential growth (https://aatishb.com/covidtrends/). The COVID-19 virus and its impacts involve both, which makes it understandably uncomfortable for everyone. For many of the commenters on this post, it’s clear that the emotional impact will prevent any attempts to persuade you, but the reality of the situation cannot simply be captured with a single “bottomline” or “a basic comparison to some other tragedy”. With that said, it’s still important to call out the inaccuracies recently posted.

    1) In the US, the number of annual car deaths is about 38,000 (https://www.asirt.org/safe-travel/road-safety-facts/), and the number of annual drownings is about 3,500 (https://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/water-safety/waterinjuries-factsheet.html). The current number of known/counted US deaths due to COVID-19 at the time of this post was about 5,700 (within the span of 45-60 days). This number is growing exponentially, and even according to the current administration will be 100-200,000 people by the end of the year with social distancing.
    2) With regard to flu estimates once again… The flu numbers being quoted are estimates, not the raw death counts. The after-the-fact estimates for COVID-19 will be much, much higher than what you see today – in the 100’s of thousands – to be certain.
    3) Again, with the flu estimates… Please remember that all the people dying from the flu are still dying. The COVID-19 deaths are on top of the flu cases, the auto accidents and yes, the drownings. Someone who survived the flu this year is at very high risk of dying from COVID-19 because their immune systems are weak.
    4) And, the flu… For those insistent folks continuing to talk about the flu, please remember that hospitals are much fuller than normal this time a year because of the seasonal flu patients. The COVID-19 patients cause the hospitals to overflow, which means people that have heart attacks and other illnesses are now dying because the hospital resources are overburdened.

    In the end, not one death comparison posted here has mentioned the 1-3M people predicted (by Trump and many really smart people) to die IN THE US without the social distancing – all on top of the other deaths listed by others. This is not an easy problem, but I hope the next poster on the thread will at least answer some of the following questions before adding more inaccuracies:

    – How many US deaths are worth opening up the economy?
    – Why aren’t those in the media (like Katy’s publication) being punished for continuing to mislead the public?

    1. – How many US deaths are worth opening up the economy?
      The economy is the lifeblood of society so closing an economy causes many deaths (suicide, increased crime rates, increased drug use, increased teen pregnancies, increased divorce rates). The economy should never be closed.
      My question to you- why are we only selectively closing places? We are concentrating the “front lines” by doing so. If we instead told everyone to stay open and operate at 10% maximum capacity, we would have less density than we currently do with everyone crowding grocery stores. Social distancing only works when everyone does it. Closing selective sectors of the economy will have no net effect, but summer will certainly taper the spread of the virus.

      – Why aren’t those in the media (like Katy’s publication) being punished for continuing to mislead the public?
      So why don’t we get rid of the 1st amendment and punish a journalist for reporting her opinion? Hmm. She’s not yelling Fire in a crowded theater. She’s yelling Calm Down amongst hysteria. Even if the corona virus kills 330,000 people in the US, that is around 1% of our population, and the fact that the people dying in large part are over the age of 60- that’s the hard reality of mortality.

      Notes- I’m at high risk so if I die, I want my tombstone to read, “Still practicing social distancing at 6 feet.”. The conqueror worm comes for us all, no?

      All that said, I am staying at home. I wouldn’t want to be caught in some ridiculous lawsuit that sets me up as some purveyor of a deadly contagion because natural selection decides that I shouldn’t have any symptoms while another person dies in agony which has been happening since day 0.

      So while I disagree with shutting down the economy, I also think that anytime humans try to intervene in nature, we trade one set of problems for another. It’s the J-Curve (this term has been coopted in the last 10 years to mean something else). Originally, the idea of a J-Curve in a population is that limited resources, increased population density, and increased competition ultimately lead to a steep decline in population growth which cannot be predicted in our society because we have not yet (as far as we know) experienced anything like it.

      The real problem- we have over 60 million people ages 60 and up. This is unheard of in the US. We don’t have enough hospital staff and beds even if they die naturally, let alone from contagious diseases. Until we fix that, the majority of the older generations will continue to be in danger of inadequate care and lack of resources.

      Like I said, I’m staying at home, not because I’m afraid of getting the virus, but because I’m afraid of society’s reaction to it. Will lawsuits come of this? Will people get lynched for spreading the disease? Will people be quarantined forcibly just for showing symptoms before testing positive? What will be the real impact of the deaths vs the deaths artificially created by our response?

      And my question spefically for you, how many suicides, bankruptcies, drug overdoses, etc. are worth giving 200,000 to 300,000 elderly an extra year or two on their already full lives? Notice how they say 40% of people admitted to the ICU have been between the ages of 20 and 54. When have you ever in your life seen such a weird statistic? People in their 20s to 40s experience a 0.2% mortality rate thus far. People in their 50s experience a 0.4% death rate. So how is this very different from the Flu?

      What are the false negative and false positive rates on the variety of Corona virus tests? Why are public buses and Ubers still running? Like I said, if you want to shut down the economy for any reason, you will have negative consequences. However, by only selectively shutting down sectors of the economy, people are still going to get sick at work (where we always get sick) or from someone we know. I’ll be sad if I get it because I’ve already fought pneumonia off twice in my life, and it almost killed both times in my youth. However, I’ve had a good run. I wish more baby boomers would realize that life isn’t forever, appreciate what you’ve had the chance to experience, and start thinking about others before yourself. Only the good die young.

  38. If 800,000 people died from Covid, that’d be 0.00001 of the population. But of course, it’s nothing even remotely like that. We nuclear-optioned the world for no reason. If it was truly deadly, people wouldn’t be accepting Amazon packages; the President wouldn’t be giving press conferences, getting breathed on by journalists; he’d be in a secure bunker. The world would be holding candlelight vigils for Tom Hanks; the British Parliament would be talking about succession to the throne since Prince Charles has it. People aren’t acting like it’s the end of the world, they’re acting like they don’t want to go to work. That people go to the hospital for every little thing is a cultural development which has only made things worse, and for every “hospitals are overrun” story, there are far more stories like mine, who went into the UCLA emergency room, which looked like an abandoned set from an Outbreak movie, with rows and rows of computers being staffed by bored, maskless hospital workers ordering on Amazon and watching Tiger King. I had my pick of rooms, and no wait. Even buried in the hysterical rantings which people are parroting, Pavlovian, are constantly-repeated, relevant facts: Overwhelmingly the disease is non-fatal; overwhelmingly the dead are elderly and sickly people. Overwhelmingly, the symptoms aren’t hospital-worthy. Overwhelmingly, people recover just fine. Anecdotally, we’ve probably all mostly gotten it already; how many people do you know who’ve had a “weird” flu-like thing since January? The largest casualties in this response are the entire sector of people who aren’t and don’t want to be dependent on government control – business owners, independent contractors. The whole thing might as well be a test case for how thoroughly ignorance compels people to surrender every shred of personal liberty, reason, and logic just because the glowing rectangle tells them to. Frankly, I’m not sure we haven’t lost the right to survive, since it seems the human race now faces adversity by cowering in their homes in fear until told to come out. We didn’t make it 30,000 years for nothing, but clearly nothing is more dangerous than ignorance and self-righteous hypocrisy.

  39. FINALLY, someone posted an accurate and legitimately debatable set of comments – thanks MC!

    330,000 additional annual deaths due to COVID-19 is your number apparently. Again, for those following along, this is on top of the flu, car crashes and of course the dreaded drownings. The “good news” is that’s about where we are headed at the current pace and with the social distancing. (..and minus some sort of blue bird miracle!) But, it’s interesting that you didn’t mention the 1-3M additional annual deaths that are estimated (by Trump’s team and many other experts) without social distancing. Literal interpretation of your words would lead one to believe you are OK with that number as well, but unfortunately, many of us are NOT OK with that many ADDITIONAL people dying in a year. Without the flattening stance, many 30, 40 and 50 year olds die as well because of a completely overloaded hospital system, and that, my likely-friend-in-real-life, is something we can agree to disagree.

    Nature? Well, humans interrupted the normal modes of nature when we invented airplanes that spread a virus worldwide in what would normally be a localized incident of relatively low significance. Make no mistake, we’re all going to get COVID-19 unless there’s a vaccine in the next 12 months. The flattening exercise lengthens the time we will all get this disease with the hopes that (a) the hospitals can support us, (b) the treatments are vastly improved due to experience, and/or (c) a vaccine appears and “makes it all just go away”. Nature will ultimately make its mark; however, modern mankind shouldn’t stand by idly watching.

    I’m truly sorry to hear about your high risk factors, and this pandemic must be causing intense anxiety for you. Admittedly, it’s baffling how many posters flippantly discuss 100,000 -> 300,000 -> 3,000,000 additional deaths in the USA like it’s some sort of problem in a 3rd world country. Killing off a bunch of Boomers would surely reduce loads of racism, improve the environment, and make room for a laundry list of inevitable but delayed improvements in our society. But MC, that’s just wrong (in so many ways), and I (along with many others) don’t want to be a part of a country that is OK with wiping out a swath of our population. Again, we can agree to disagree.

    Back to Katy… Katy stopped posting opinion when she falsely and repeatedly compared estimated flu deaths with snapshot numbers of actual COVID-19 deaths – for a virus that’s killing people exponentially. If she had said “f*ck it, the media is going hysterical over 100,000-300,000 additional deaths with measures, or ultimately 1-3M deaths without measures”, that would have been her opinion. That mythical article would have made an accurate and bold statement, which we could discuss in a civil manner. Granted, it would have exposed the callus nature of the nothing’s-really-wrong movement, but it would have at least been honest.

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