Honestly, I don’t know what to believe anymore when it comes to COVID-19 reporting by the media. “Official” guidance changes every time we turn around. I find it hard to believe that the best tools we have to fight this virus are soap, hand sanitizer and a piece of cloth strapped to one’s face. Today, social distancing requirements went from 6 feet to God only knows how far. Businesses that spent tons of money to upgrade ventilation equipment, may still have not done enough – despite their best efforts.
It’s been six months since life as we knew it came to a screeching halt. No one could go anywhere. People lost their jobs. Some folks are still hanging on to their homes by nothing more than sheer luck and a moratorium on foreclosures/evictions. Kids haven’t physically been in a school building in my district for six months. Families have been struggling to put food on the table. There’s been a lot of financial, emotional and mental fallout as a result of COVID-19 and the the social justice firestorm that swept the country over the summer. I know of two, possibly three, people who committed suicide in the past six weeks because life, in their eyes, things had simply become too much to bear. As I watch my friends grieve the loss of a mother and a son, I really have to wonder how things got to this point.
Yes, people have died – almost 200,000 of them according to the most recent figures. Any loss of life is unfortunate and very sad. Could this loss have been avoided? We don’t really know – and may never know. All we can do is look at the data, consider the science and trust out gut. To date, 6 million people have tested positive in the US for COVID-19. That’s roughly 1.7% of the total population. 3.3% of those who tested positive for COVID-19 are said to have died from COVID-19. This equates to 0.00057% (yep that’s 5 10-thousandths of 1%) of the total US population who have died from COVID-19. We don’t really know how many people truly died from COVID-19 because of the way people were recording causes of death.
This math is simply not reported anywhere. It’s all gloom and doom when it comes to coronavirus. People are so scared to go to the doctor that medical facilities are laying off staff. Then there’s the other nagging feeling in the back of my mind. Of those who are seeing patients, will the billing coding be inflated a bit to make up for lost revenue? Hubby went for an eye exam. The practitioner found a few things “wrong” and referred him to a specialist. I don’t know how much of this is reality and how much is padding to make up for lost revenue. I guess we’ll know when the specialist does his/her evaluation.
When considering things from a data perspective, I have to agree with my pet sitter – it’s time to get back to living. Take precautions and protect those at highest risk, but everything doesn’t need to stay completely shut down. Am I concerned about going back to school with the kids? Of course, I am! We’ll take precautions as best we can, but it’s way past time to get back to somewhat normal.
I’m willing to wear a mask through the winter months but come next spring – here’s hoping we can have mask burning parties.