Ask A Genius 538 – Points on Covid
April 20, 2020
[Beginning of recorded material]
Jacobsen: So, what are some of the points you want to make around Covid-19?
Rosner: Just two quick points, to the end of April, the number of official US coronavirus deaths just surpassed the number of American soldiers who died in the Vietnam War. 61,000 corona deaths officially and 58,000 US soldiers died in 10 years of Vietnam. So two months of Corona versus 10 years of Vietnam.
It is a lot; two thousand people are dying a day here officially. But people demographers, people who deal with population numbers, had been looking at the average number of deaths at this point in the year, historically for the past five, 10, 15 years in America. They say based on the amount of deaths we’ve had so far this year; we’ve underestimated the official coronavirus death count by more than 50 percent.
So we’re looking at somewhere in the 90,000s. Though, all these numbers, they never really entirely settled down, but they’re certainly not. But people, maybe, get a better idea of them, once things start to subside and there’s time to actually analyze them. So the numbers are never going to be known for sure, but eventually, we’ll probably get a better idea how many people have been killed by it.
Also, people are saying that more people are dying from other causes because, somebody has chest pains, they decided not to go to the hospital because they do not want to get infected. Then, maybe, they die at home from just a heart attack or even at the hospital too, or whatever. But people are dying. Coronavirus has been the US’s number one cause of death for three weeks now, maybe more. That’s what is going on with that.
Also, my conservative buddy likes to say, ‘It is just like a bad year of flu. It is like no big deal.’ To my mind, of course, two years ago, 60,000 people did die of the flu in America. It was the worst year since probably the 70s for flu. But it makes me ask, why should we put up with tens of thousands of deaths per year from flu?
When what we’ve learned now, because right now is a pretty good year for flu, because people are staying home, but in the future, I’m thinking we could reduce flu deaths if handshakes go away; and handshakes are ridiculous. If handshakes were killing thousands of people a year, we can make do without handshakes. If people wash their hands more, and if they stay home when they’re sick, because I’ve noticed over the past 10 years, people used to get credit for showing up at work sick.
Say before 2010, show up when you got a runny nose, people are like, “Oh, good for you. You’re sick, but you still made it in to do your job. Only the office lunatic would be able to get out of here with a runny nose.” But that’s changed. Now, everybody, most people are in an office or get the fuck home. No, we do not want to get sick from you. So if that’s a permanent shift, a serious shift where people just stay the fuck home or wash their hands, do not handshake, and maybe we can knock down the annual number of flu deaths by 50 percent.
Anyway, this year 24,000 people died of the flu. If you have the 24,000 from the flu to the 61,000 from coronavirus, that gives you 85,000 deaths this year from respiratory disease, which is the worst year since 1969. In 1968-69 Hong Kong flu and we’re about ten days away from surpassing that death toll. So people who say it is just another, it is just like flu and get over are an assholes would be foolish in.
[End of recorded material]
American Television Writer
Scott Douglas Jacobsen
Founder, In-Sight Publishing
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