By Paul M. Kempen, MD, PhD
Today I took an in-depth look at the actual numbers of all recorded Covid deaths to date and from the period of Feb 1 through July 11, 2020, available and online from the CDC regarding Provisional COVID-19 Death Counts by Sex, Age, and State at https://data.cdc.gov/NCHS/Provisional-COVID-19-Death-Counts-by-Sex-Age-and-S/9bhg-hcku.
Sure, every single death is a loss and impacts everyone around it. There are 328 million people living in the USA per the 2019 US census data. Everyone dies of something. Let’s hope it is when we are pretty old and sick, when death comes and hopefully suddenly! It would appear that Covid may be fulfilling this wish: 60% of all deaths occurred in persons over age 74, and with a current US life expectancy of 78.7 years. Only 13% of the US population is over 65 and with only ½ of these persons over 74 per 2010 US census data. https://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-09.pdf
60 % of all Covid deaths occurred in elderly patients who make up only 6.5% of the population
In short, 60 % of all Covid deaths occurred in elderly patients, who make up only 6.5% of the population. So it makes sense to protect those elderly from the general population. The population under age 45 seems very resilient to the Covid disease, in spite of those rare young deaths, which are typically over-reported in the evening news. This is the first time in my knowledge that government health agents have forced healthy people into business-closing quarantines. The government has not forced anyone to stop smoking, drinking or overeating—healthy or unhealthy people—the three most deadly activities. Is it really reasonable to continue Covid closings of the US economy? Initially, these measures were invoked to “cap the peak” of infections, which occurred on April 11, 2020, and have steadily fallen since then and in spite of the interval relaxation of quarantine measures by health officials. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/Covid19/excess_deaths.htm
Covid deaths have been declining for months!
The last period of excess Covid deaths by preliminary CDC data occurred the middle of June, 2020. These excess deaths represent only a small portion of total US deaths each week, which average more than 60,000 per week.
These CDC numbers are astounding, primarily because they clearly expose the many hysterical reports propagated by the media as exactly that, hysterical projections. The number of Covid deaths is presented repeatedly and daily as a “new high”—but unless people start to come back from the dead, this is an EXPECTED trend. People are always dying in the USA—2,813,503 in 2017 alone! The total 2020 Covid deaths of 121,374 represent less than 10% of ALL deaths (1,387,325) recorded by the CDC in that same period and represents a death rate of 0.03% from the total US population.
“Child Covid syndrome”
Particularly remarkable is the fact that although a great deal of “news” has effectively alarmed the general public with concerns of the “child Covid syndrome” and associated deaths, to date there have been a total of 17 deaths in children under age 5. Particularly disturbing to me is the fact that so much attention has been centered on these 17 deaths in the news media, while in the same period a total of 8,985 deaths were recorded in kids under 5, and with 3.79 million births each year in the USA, that is 17 deaths from a total of roughly 17-19 million kids under 5 years of age. The “child Covid syndrome” is reportedly very similar to pediatric sepsis and/or Kawasaki syndrome. Thousands of kids each year were diagnosed with or died from these diseases before Covid ever appeared. If we recognize that a total of 31 children under age 15 died from Covid, these facts really do indicate the risk from Covid to school-age children, where more than 10,000 deaths occurred during that same period from other diseases, seems fleetingly rare.
Covid impact on the work force
If we look at the work force, or persons age 15 through 54 as a group identifiable under this CDC data, 9,191 persons were found to have died of Covid. If we count everyone from age 15 up through age 64 (that pre-retirement age for Social Security), the number of deaths is 20,714. Because we know that people with increased health risks from diabetes, COPD, obesity, heart disease, etc. are also at increased risk from Covid, and these diseases are more prevalent in persons who are unable to work, this number of 20k deaths represents an overestimate of the impact on the working population. During this same period, however, more people died from non-Covid pneumonia in each and every age group! On the other hand, the damage from the Covid crisis shutdown is said to impact the working class and small businesses particularly hard, and everyone to a degree.
This country was built on the efforts of individuals taking risks, facing adversity, accepting personal responsibility and overcoming these challenges by virtue of personal efforts and responsibility. We have been told in greatest detail to date what Corvid is (a very bad cold/corona virus) and how to protect ourselves. Staying healthy is a personal responsibility. Protect the high-risk elderly via quarantine and let the low-risk population get back to work and school! Wash your hands, stay healthy and avoid the elderly if you are contagious, for their personal safety. Testing is an ineffective and possibly risky measure, especially dangerous to join a high-risk sampling environment when you are asymptomatic. Testing does not cure or protect—it is a chance for infection. When AIDS was recognized in 1980s, we developed the concept of “universal precautions” in the hospital. Taking Covid seriously means “universal precautions” in daily living. Current medicine will not cure the disease, and medical care only helps patients heal of their own strengths. Stay healthy. The risk of death in the young and healthy is low. If we expect doctors and nurses to go to work each day into the den of Covid, we must be able to expect low-risk persons to go to work in low-risk workplaces too. The Covid peak has been capped, the masses educated. Covid is not going to disappear, and like other cold (corona) viruses, will persist a long time and reoccur at intervals-as it has already in 10-year intervals since SARS and MERS. It is time to get on with life, reopen the economy and take personal responsibility for personal health. https://ip4pi.wordpress.com/2020/04/17/personal-health-is-a-personal-responsibility-to-enable-national-health/