Bernie Sanders supporters won’t want to hear this — and for good reason — but Joe Biden has created an insurmountable lead. Sanders is down and out through some incredible misfortune, but is that a good thing? It’s almost as if the current viral outbreak is tailor-made to tell the people of our country, “Vote for the guy who wants you to have paid sick days and guaranteed healthcare!” But we weren’t listening.
The novel coronavirus covid-19 is extremely dangerous — far more so than most of us realize.
Reproduction rates are difficult to calculate. These numbers, however, show us how many people a virus could potentially infect. For example, the flu has a value of R1.3. That means that a person infected with the seasonal flu will infect another 1.3 people on average. It has a fatality rate of only .1 percent, which seems quite low until you see how many people die each year — approximately 645,000 people around the world.
Many of us have taken to sharing memes on social media websites. They take a supposed expert’s viewpoint that we shouldn’t be panicking. And while that may be true, they leave out important information when comparing coronavirus to the flu. After all, they say, covid-19 hasn’t killed that many people, while the flu kills hundreds of thousands every year!
Covid-19 has a value between 2.0 and 2.5. That means a person infected with covid-19 is likely to infect at least two more people with the virus. The presumed fatality rate of covid-19 is around 2 percent (although it may fall significantly when we gather more data), and varies by country. Today marks the day we’ve hit over 200,000 cases and only around 8,000 deaths. No big deal, right?
Until you start making more meaningful comparisons. For example, the Spanish flu of 1918 killed up to 50 million people when the world’s population was much lower. Certainly, it hit people at the height of WWI, and that was a major cause of its spread. However, it killed those tens of millions of people with a rating of only R1.8 — meaning covid-19 is more contagious than the Spanish flu.
The Spanish flu also had a fatality rate of around 2.5 percent, making it only minutely more deadly than the current outbreak. That’s why governments are starting to take such drastic measures to prevent the spread of this virus. Because they’re finally starting to wake up to the reality of what it might actually do.
Sanders’ policies — had they already been implemented before this outbreak — would have prevented much of the heartache that will follow. We’re on the brink of financial and personal disaster, and it’s up to us to find a way to deal with it pragmatically. Thus far, we haven’t showed we have the motivation to do that.