Ravi Godse says,”Though we still don’t know a lot about COVID, we know what we don’t know and that’s a step in the right direction”. If truly many people are going to be either asymptomatic or have a mild illness, no point focusing on total number of cases. Mortality ratio (Deaths/cases) is a valid parameter, but the denominator is not known. Total number of people who have actually died is a good number to look at. Because it is what it is. When someone is dead, and counted, there is no pitch, no spin, dead is dead. Right? Wrong. I wanted to make a suggestion, where we can make less people dead. Literally.
Has the social distancing and hand washing helped? Sure. It has. Does the stay at home, distancing, and masks sound a little extreme? Sure, it does. Did we do it for the flu seasons in 2018-19? No. Could we have done it? Yes, of course. Would that have reduced some things? Yes.
The flu? Yes. Deaths? Yes. Flu related heart issues? Yes.
Like the flu can bring on heart disease, can COVID do it too? Yes, of course. But for now, all the people who die of heart disease while having COVID are considered as COVID deaths, whether or not COVID contributed to heart disease. That didn’t happen in flu seasons. Cardiac mortality was separate.
So the lives saved by not having flu related heart disease (it is undoubted that we are seeing less heart cases this season and it is NOT due to fear of going to the hospital), also need to be deducted from the COVID mortality and that number could be significant. Any guess how many people die due to heart disease daily in the United States? The number is sobering and unbelievable. Close to 2000 or more. So cardiac mortality goes on effectively without any fuss and on any normal day, it can compare to the worse days of COVID epidemic. Time will tell how fewer people have died due to heart disease during this PANDEMIC and that can be subtracted from the mortality number too.
No one is minimizing the pain and the suffering on the families who lost loved ones to COVID. Those are real people we lost. But there are real people we have saved too. This is good news. I know it is not right to minimize bad news. May the same rule apply to good news too? False hope is terrible but not nearly as terrible as false doom.
Many people will get this virus; most will be fine with no symptoms or mild symptoms. For seriously ill people now we have some things like Remdesivir/plasma that we can try. If they need the ventilator, we have them. I think we have to take a deep breath and wait for the vaccine, hoping it to be early and effective and preparing it to be neither. And we have to resume normal life so that if the poor virus comes back, it has something left to destroy. The people who say that life will never be normal are not normal and people who talk about the new normal are new to being not normal. Nevertheless, they are not normal.