Kung Flu facts & figures

Occasionally, I look at my daughter’s Facebook page. I did that today, and rolled my eyes at the mass of Kung Flu posts. She worries! Another Facebook page, a chat site that deals exclusively with my mountaintop town, also fixates on Kung Flu numbers. Worries!

It appears Mexico is having a sizable increase in cases due to that Delta variant, which is, I hope, the last variant we’ll see with this pandemic. Pandemics usually last one to two years, so we likely have to slog through a bit more of this, and the media-driven hysteria too.

Don’t discount the media-driven hysteria. It’s a fresh element to pandemics. The other fresh element is that it appears the Red Chinese developed the Kung Flu and then, accidentally or not, let it get away from them. Bio-warfare or big boo-boo? Lord knows.

I look at the hysteria, and I look at the facts, which are that the general survival rate is somewhere around 98 percent, but somewhat lower for old folks like me. Any virus will kill old folks faster than younger folks. And if you sum up the cases of any virus within a large population like a city, state, nation or globally, those numbers will get spooky.

Not just viruses. Cancers, heart attacks, traffic fatalities, murders, etc., if the population is large, the fatality figures will be hefty too.

But the numbers are meaningless without taking into consideration the population number in question:

In Mexico, the death toll now sits at around 246,000. Wow! That’s scary. But it’s about 0.19% of the population. Not so scary now, huh? In the United States, the death toll is about 635,000. YUGE number. The streets must be lined with corpses. But it’s, coincidentally, also about 0.19% of the U.S. population. The world death toll to date is about 4,334,000. That’s four million-plus. Good Lord!

But it’s about 0.055% of the global population.

It’s a question of perspective, little of which is mentioned by the media, just the fat-looking numbers.

In contrast, the Bubonic Plague of the 1300s wiped out about one-third of Europe’s population, 25 million people.

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Here in Mexico — at least in my area but, I suspect, most of Mexico — the government mimics what the United States does. Stay home, wear masks, close your business, etc. We also have little rubber mats filled with bleach or something at the entrance to businesses. You know, to disinfect the soles of your shoes where viruses might hitch a ride.

Is that silliness done above the border?

I read a news story recently from Nuevo Leon which reported those rubber rugs do squat except get bleach on your shoes. I always step around them. Nobody cares.

And my very favorite: bottles of antibacterial gel everywhere. Of course, something antibacterial has squat to do with a virus. It’s like swallowing an antibiotic for a cold. Does not work.

Masks, gels, rubber mats, social distancing. The government mandates them, but people mostly do as they please, and nothing happens to them with some rare exceptions. The big plaza downtown has huge signs warning that you’ll be arrested if you don’t wear a mask. Yet some people don’t, me included, and I’ve seen no arrests.

It’s theater. I see cops with no masks.

The masks are a joke. They do next to nothing. Viruses are microscopic. The cloth and paper masks most people wear offer next to no protection. Viruses can enter through your eyes. There are masks that protect against viruses. That’s one in the photo, a hazmat mask.

Not available at the corner drugstore.

Back to stats now: Sky-high survival rate. Ninety percent of cases get resolved at home in bed with Tylenol. Of the 10 percent who end up in the hospital, most do not die.

Most of our Kung Flu rules come not from the federal government, but from state and municipal officials who are going through the motions.

Local governments report things like the town hospital is at 90% capacity in the covid ward! What always is missing is that the ward has, say, only 10 beds allocated to covid, and nine are occupied. And those covid wards are never full. They are saturated!

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I’ve known a number of people who’ve had the Kung Flu, actual cases, not asymptomatic ones discovered by a test, an issue for another day. Friends, acquaintances and relatives. They got sick, they recovered. Just two were hospitalized due, I imagine, to being old and fat. But they did not die. And neither will you.