Shutting Down a Pandemic: Does it even matter if the flu or the new coronavirus is worse?

The US has had over 12,000 deaths caused by influenza so far this year.  Most hospitals are pretty full at present.  What happens if the coronavirus spreads in the US?  The last report I read said that 15-20 percent of coronavirus patients require intensive care hospitilization. 

We do not know the mortality rate of the coronavirus.  I’ve read and seen more nonsense on social media than I care to think about.  The mortality rate is the percentage of people who die of the virus versus the number of people who recover from the virus.  We don’t know how many people have recovered.  We cannot figure the number at present.  The mortality rate is NOT the number deceased divided by the number currently infected.  We do not know the outcome of the currently infected.  This isn’t rocket science people.

The problem is that when your hospitals are full and your medical personal are working 24/7 on just the flu and/or the new coronavirus, what happens if you have a heart attack?  What happens if you have a car wreck?  You die.  That’s what happens.  People really need to see the big picture and stop focusing on comparing the two viruses.  The comparison is irrelevant if they’re both running rampant in your population.  Things that are not normally fatal will be fatal with no available medical care.  Big picture.

We do not have any choice but to try and quarantine people, cities, flights, etc.  We have to slow the virus down in order to give time to learn about how to treat and cure the virus.  We cannot slow this down without quarantines.  We at least need it slowed down while we are in the height of flu season. 

Ultimately, if the coronavirus spreads into a third world country or a country we refuse to quarantine, it will rip through the population.  I’m tired of people whining about human rights violations.  We have to keep the virus contained as well as we can for as long as we can.  Having said that, we do need to make sure quarantined people and areas have supplies and medical treatment.  We do need to make sure their needs are taken care of as best we can. If possible the people not testing positive should be quarantined separately from those who are positive.  Otherwise, we sentence them to becoming sick too.  We have to quarantine.  Can we stop the virus at this point?  Who knows?  Maybe we can.  We can slow it down and buy ourselves more time if nothing else.  Do we panic?  No.  We go on about our daily lives and let the CDC, WHO, medical professionals, and leaders of countries do their jobs without being stupid and squawking about quarantines. 

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