Coronavirus vs the Common Flu, and other Misconceptions

With all the dangerous misinformation and utter nonsense being circulated by even the most “reputable” media outlets regarding COVID-19, I felt some debunking was essential…

The information below has been gleaned from some of the most distinguished voices in the field of viral infections, and from doctors on the ground struggling with this overwhelming “tsunami” of infections. These voices include that of Dr Michael Osterholm, an internationally recognized expert in infectious disease epidemiology; and Dr Daniele Macchini, an intensive care unit physician at the Humanitas Gavazzeni hospital in Bergamo, Italy.

Coronavirus vs Common Flu

Although Coronavirus is acting like a standard influenza virus, as that’s essentially what it is, this is “just the beginning,” warns Dr Michael Osterholm. The best guesstimate Osterholm has right now, based on the limited data available so far, is that this virus is looking to be some “10x to 15x worse than the worst seasonal flu year we see.”

We’ve heard a lot about Coronavirus being seasonal, ‘when it warms up it’ll go away,’ but that simply isn’t the case. There isn’t a shred of evidence to suggest that at all. In Iran, for example, one of the current hotbeds for the infection, it’s currently 80F out and the virus is doing just fine thank you.

Dr Osterholm and his team have conservatively estimated that the virus could result in 96 million infections, 48 million hospitalizations, and over 480 thousand deaths; over the next 3-7 months.

“This is not one to take lightly,” he stresses.

It’s not where we’re at now that’s necessarily significant or worrisome, it’s where the infection number will climb to in the relatively near future. Osterholm uses Italy as a example — just three weeks ago the European nation was living life just fine, happily devouring pizza, pasta, and Serie A soccer games; and now they’re living in a virtual lock-down.

Dr Daniele Macchini, an intensive care unit physician on the ground, recently explained that hospitals in Italy were overwhelmed with new cases. He urged people to stop downplaying the disease as just a “bad flu.” Macchini also complimented the cooperative efforts of medical professionals at the hospital, writing that there were “no more surgeons, urologists, orthopedists,” just doctors who “suddenly become part of a single team to face this tsunami that has overwhelmed us.”

This is not just an “Old Person’s Disease”

A cardiologist working in one of Milan’s largest hospitals continues where Macchini left off, writing in an email: “They are deciding who they have to let die. They aren’t screening the staff anymore because they need all hands on deck and they have very small areas of the hospital dedicated to non-COVID patients where they still screen doctors — everybody else is dedicated to COVID patients, [and] they’re seeing an alarming number of cases in the 40-something range, and these are horrible cases, and we need to stop thinking of this as an old persons disease.”

Although it still stands that the primary risk factor for dying from COVID-19 is being old, underlying health problems are also a big concern. For example, in China, 10% of the men over 70 died, whereas the case fatality rate of women in the same age group was only 2% (the difference is likely explained by 65% of older Chinese men being smokers compared to the very low number of woman smokers).

Underlying Health Problems

There are a series of risk factors that we should worry about should they overlay with this disease. Obesity is one of the main ones — it acts very similar to smoking in that regard, in terms of its ability to cause severe life-threatening complications– and in the United States some 45% of people over the age of 45 are classed as obese or severely obese; men and women.

Dr Osterholm expects to see more of these “very serious and life-threatening cases” occur in the U.S. because of a different set of risk factors than we saw in China.

Treat this like a Coronavirus “Winter” not a “Blizzard”

“We’re going to be in this for a while,” warns Osterholm.

This is not going away overnight — the next 6 months or more will be dominated by COVID-19.

The infection has an R0 (doubling number) of every 4 days, meaning the infection rate is doubling every 4 days. It takes a while to initially build up, of course –2 to 4 to 8 to 16– but as soon as you get to 500 cases doubling to 1000 within just 4 days, then 1000 to 2000, 2000 to 4000, 4000 to 8000, then you can see how quickly the virus can take down a country’s health system, and how blind-panic can hit an unprepared government leading to decisions like putting millions of people into virtual lock-down.

We’ve seen it happen in China and Italy, and are seeing the beginnings of it up in Seattle.

Masks, Gloves and Hand Sanitizers are “Largely Nonsense” — and there’s no Vaccine on the Horizon

Trying to stop an influenza virus transmission is like trying to stop the wind.

We’ve NEVER had any success at doing it–other than with a vaccine, and we won’t have any hope of one of those for months down the line, according to Osterholm, likely long-after the virus has effectively burnt itself out.

Coronavirus is spread through human-to-human transmission. Therefore, quite simply, your best bet is to stay clear of large public spaces, particularly if your over 55 and/or have underlying health problems. The disease is transmitted through the air. An infected person need just breath near you for you to catch it, and, complicating things further, it is possible for that person to be infectious without actually showing any visible symptoms themselves.

No surgical mask, pair of gloves or hand sanitizer is going to prevent the virus from entering your body. Unless you’re incredibly fortunate, they are “largely nonsense,” says Dr Osterholm.

Again, to reiterate, limiting contact with others is as much as we can do.

The Kids aren’t getting Sick

One of the few good-news stories coming out about COVID-19 is that very few children are catching it, or at least becoming sick with it. In China, just 2.1% or cases were in people under the age of 19 years old.

It isn’t completely understood why this is. The kids are still becoming infected with the virus, it’s just that the disease isn’t manifesting in the same way as it does older people — the kids aren’t getting sick.

Financial Crash

You can chose to take the above information however you like, and if you still want to travel down the path of “it’s not as bad as a seasonal flu” then knock yourself out. But as it stands, this is NOT only about what the virus itself could do to you, but what the entire interconnected system we live in and depend upon could do once the virus gets into it. We will almost certainly see a collapse of key services and supply chains — medication, food; all just-in-time deliveries in fact.

Avoidance is key to not getting sick, but, as always, prepping is crucial to surviving the economic fallout.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DOW) has plunged some 25% off its Feb, 2020 high of 29,500. That’s way past correction territory, past recession territory, and fast on its way to a full-blown financial crash.

Pension pots, IRAs, and savings are at risk of folding like a house of cards.

You relied on the “system” at your own peril, the preppers long-warned you about the risks involved; but there is still time… as we regularly advise here at Electroverse: prepare accordinglylearn the facts, relocate if need be, and grow (stockpile) your own

Good luck.

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