We know Covid has a higher infection fatality rate than seasonal influenza. Therefore we've engaged in many behaviors in an attempt to eliminate Covid or reduce its spread, including:
- Fines of GBP 200 and more for not wearing a face mask.
- Indefinite bans affecting concerts and gatherings, as well as one-time life events such as funerals and weddings. Children this year do not have birthdays.
- Economic shutdowns, accumulating bankruptices and millions of people in severe economic distress (screenshot).
- Reduced access to health care, including in countries with socialized health care where doctors protect themselves first and serve patients later. Refusals to see patients lead to long delays in diagnosis, which results in increased deaths from non-Covid causes, including cancer and heart disease.
- Reduced effectiveness of schooling for most pupils and students. Socialization mostly eliminated.
- Reduction in travel by 70% or more (screenshot).
Let us suspend disbelief and assume these responses are sane. Certainly, they would be if the Covid fatality rate was 90%. However, we know Covid mortality may actually be anywhere from 0.26% to 0.65% to less than 1%.
We do not deploy any of the above measures to stop the seasonal influenza. In the previous link, Dr. Fauci estimates flu mortality at 0.1%. This corresponds with the following studies:
- Seasonal Incidence of Symptomatic Influenza in the United States: "The statistical estimate of influenza incidence among all ages ranged from 3.0%–11.3% among seasons"
- Global mortality associated with seasonal influenza epidemics: "We estimated an average of 389 000 (uncertainty range 294 000-518 000) respiratory deaths were associated with influenza globally each year during the study period"
The global mortality study is based on data from 2002 - 2011, when world population ranged from 6.3 to 7.0 billion. Let's plug in these numbers for a range of infection fatality estimates:
|Infections||#||294k deaths||518k deaths|
|3% of 6.3b||207m||0.142%||0.25%|
|11.3% of 7.0b||791m||0.037%||0.065%|
Since the infection fatality estimates for the seasonal flu range from 0.037% to 0.25%; and those for Covid-19 range from 0.26% to 1%; it appears the fatality rate where not wearing a mask becomes a criminal offense is approximately:
Since we're suspending disbelief, we can assume this ethical threshold was arrived at systematically and is very rational.
Showing 2 out of 2 comments, oldest first:
Comment on Sep 28, 2020 at 07:52 by Boris Kolar
Comment on Sep 28, 2020 at 14:50 by denisbider
I appreciate the correction. My use and intended meaning was consistent with infection fatality rate, so I updated the post to reflect this. This is to say, the data I found seems to suggest seasonal flu IFR between 0.04% and 0.25%, and for Covid between 0.26% and <1%.
I think the fatality rate estimates are still going to drop for Covid, and there will be lots of speculation about whether the virus changed, or something we are doing changed, etc. What will actually change is our psychological attitude, i.e. the virus will become a normal fact of life and then people won't feel as fashionable to die from Covid.
Boris: Personally, I'd prefer not to experience "Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome" even if mortality was 0%.
Then I think you will not – or at least you do not need to, as long as you are not too frightened. :)
I've recently come to a relatively firm conclusion that all death and disease is caused psychologically. Although the mechanisms are not necessarily obviously apparent, the ultimate causes tend to be accessible to the conscious mind.
Case in point which does not prove anything, but it's interesting to look at it from the psychological perspective. Even before Covid, an acquaintance had chronic health issues where the doctors can't find anything. This person was of course terrified by Covid and enthusiastically called for all sorts of radical lockdowns to stop this dangerous virus. It was obvious from her posts that she was absolutely terrified of getting it, and was convinced that it might kill her. A few months later, after all of this concern, she has developed... (drumroll) pneumonia, except the pneumonia is not related to Covid (she tested negative). However, since the country implemented all of the Covid countermeasures, doctors won't see her and they're arbitrarily delaying treatment for the pneumonia. :)