An honest examination of COVID-19 fatality rates

This past weekend, I said this on Twitter: “Describing #COVID19 as a ‘deadly disease’ is dishonest. The disease has a survival rate of over 99%.”

Now, was I denying that COVID-19 kills people? Nope. I have explicitly said on many occasions that COVID-19 has killed many, and in that very Tweet I explicitly said that COVID-19 has been deadly for many. We are now at over 250,000 people dead from this virus just in these United States alone.

What I am saying is that statistical data is real. Two things can be true at once: COVID-19 has killed over 250,000 Americans and COVID-19 is not deadly for the vast majority, with a survival rate of over 99%. People are describing the novel coronavirus as if it is Ebola, and that is simply not accurate.

Some people get upset when we talk about survival rates, but we have to live in reality, not paranoia. The vast majority of people who get COVID-19 will survive it. People under 20 years old, especially, are not all that vulnerable to this virus. Those statistics are straight from the Centers for Disease Control.

Does this mean we should just be carefree, take no precautions and make no effort to slow the spread of the virus? Absolutely not! As I have said literally hundreds of times, we must take reasonable precautions. We must protect the most vulnerable. That is why I support the statewide mask mandate and reasonable occupancy limits, and why I think temporary lockdowns this past Spring were wise and necessary.

But the facts are what they are. We need to follow the science and the data, not our political or ideological biases. That goes for those who treat pandemic mitigation as some sort of religious ritual, and it also goes for the “freedom” people who unwisely oppose all regulations to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus and protect the people who are most vulnerable to severe illness and death.