One of the hardest questions to get a meaningful answer to is “what is the real risk to me of dying of COVID-19?”
There are plenty of numbers and statistics being thrown around by a variety of “authoritative” sources, like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization about the potential dangers of the disease to varieties of people, but most people may have a problem using them in a practical way to assess the risks they face while trying to live their lives.
This is a primer, using many of these statistics, that may hopefully shed some light on the true risk COVID and its seemingly endless variants may have for people in various situations.
Lets start with a basic premise that most people should relate to.
Imagine you have a ticket to a sporting, or concert event at a large stadium with a capacity of 100,000 people.
Now, forget the fact that going to a gathering this large carries a higher risk than real life activities, and would likely spread the disease at a faster rate among the attendees than regular, everyday activities like going to work or school.
We are just going to look at the source numbers relative to the population at the game, and not the circumstance of being in that environment.
As of today, Jan. 6. 2022, there have been 56 million cases of COVID-19 reported since the start of the pandemic and more than 800,000 deaths, according to the WHO.
The U.S. Census Bureau reports a total population in the United States of slightly more than 331 million people.
To start, that means that 17% of the country has contracted the virus since its inception, and keep in mind this does not account for multiple infections to a single person, which have happened.
Of those infected, 1% have died.
So, let’s go back to the stadium, and the game or concert we have a ticket for.
If the stadium holds 100,000 people, 17,000 will catch the virus, just under 1 in 5 people attending.
Of that 17,000 people, 170 people, or 1%, will die from the disease, which also means 99.830 of the 100,000 people in the stadium will survive, even if they get sick, and that 83,000 attending won’t get sick at all, according to the WHO data.
The United States death rate, however, is higher than that with 827,879 deaths compared to the expected 562,700 from a 331 million population going by the above WHO reported rates.
That would mean an increase of stadium deaths from 170 to 250 people in the crowd of 100,000.
These average numbers could also be adjusted for age, presence of other medical conditions, and other factors.
Older people, for example, have a much higher rate of serious or fatal disease outcomes, and would therefore be at a much higher risk attending the game.
The same could be said with people who are obese, have heart disease, cancer, or other chronic conditions.
Once the factors are weighted in, like vaccinations which likely reduce serious illness or death, the risk for the average person in average health drops significantly.
Another problematic issue for our thought experiment here is how the CDC counts COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.
In the last week, NIAD Director, and COVID Task Force member, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that, for instance, the growing number of children hospitalized with a positive COVID test, are usually there because of another factor, and are being treated with COVID, and not because of COVID.
There are reports across the nation of people involved in accidents, or who have suffered a heart attack or stroke, or were admitted to the hospital for cancer, have been counted as “COVID” patients, or deaths.
With the numbers being so hard to parse and sort through, making a truly informed risk assessment almost impossible for the average person.