COVID-19 has reshaped our expectations for 2020. From daycare centers to senior citizen homes, all people groups are being impacted by this pandemic. Some people are ignoring the guidelines for “stay-at-home” orders, social distancing, or gathering in large groups because they believe the flu is more dangerous. I have been told not to worry about COVID-19 because “more people die from the flu.” After hearing a statement like this one, I am certain many people asked “why should I stop hanging-out with friends, limit my in-store shopping, and not attend public events like church services if more people die from the flu?” That question leads to another question. Do more people die from the flu?
“CDC estimates that influenza was associated with more than 35.5 million illnesses...34,200 deaths during the 2018–2019 influenza season.” This means CDC estimates 0.096 percent of people diagnosed with the flu died from the flu or pneumonia. On the other hand, of the 676,000 plus confirmed cases in the US, more than 34,600 deaths are related to COVID-19. This means more than 5 percent of people diagnosed with the virus die from it. Therefore, COVID-19 may be considered 50 times more deadly than the flu when comparing the death toll percentages.
Based on this information, three thoughts come to mind. First, ignoring the precautions and guidelines for COVID-19 by saying “more people die from the flu” is insensitive to people who die from COVID-19 because no one is less dead or families less grieved when they die from COVID-19 versus the flu. Second, more people have died from COVID-19 and the death toll keeps rising. Third, we must stay prayerful and careful. We should ask God to protect us, and we must do as much as possible to protect ourselves too. So when someone downplays the impact of COVID-19 by saying “more people die from the flu,” just remember the numbers don’t lie.
What do you think about the statement "more people die from the flu?" Let me hear from you!