I am certain I am not the only one, who feels like I’m watching a science fiction movie when viewing the nightly news.  Nothing I have experienced in my life can compare to the magnitude that the coronavirus has impacted throughout the world.  When the NBA suspended their season, I read the column three times to make sure I was not misreading it. 

This was quickly followed by the NHL, NASCAR, concerts, cruise lines, public and private schools, and even Disney World closed its gates; the list could go on forever.  At first, I thought this was an extreme over-reaction, but I have since changed my mind. 

 At the writing of this column the CDC has just released orders to prevent any gathering of 50 or more people.  I now understand the reasoning behind these bans, it is to basically slow the curve of new infections so that we don’t overload the medical system.  By slowing down the rate of infections we can hopefully prevent the point of doctors making the decision between who lives and dies, because we don’t have enough ventilators for everyone who needs them. That would be horrid.

The best we can tell at this point is that coronavirus is 10 times as deadly, as the normal flu.  The normal flu kills 1 in 1,000, coronavirus kills 1 in 100.  That is a staggering difference. I am sure most of us remember the swine flu outbreak, also known as H1N1 virus. That was in 2009, and lasted for a year.  So, keep in mind these figures represent a year’s worth of the swine flu, versus just a few months of the coronavirus. 

 All as of 03/16/2020: The coronavirus has infected 132,536 people worldwide.  Swine flu infected 1.4 billion (with a b) worldwide. Coronavirus deaths total 4,947 worldwide, versus swine flu deaths 575,000 worldwide.  In the U.S. the coronavirus has infected 1,264, the swine flu infected 61 million (with a m).  Coronavirus deaths, so far in the U.S. total 36, swine flu deaths in the U.S. totaled 12,469. 

Keep in mind that we are far from over the coronavirus.  But I think looking at these figures can give us a perspective of what we are dealing with. 

God bless you all -- RHM