Here’s What Is Happening To The Flu While We’re Shut Down
“There have been more flu deaths this year than the coronavirus.” “We have never shut anything down for the flu.”
-That’s what I keep hearing from well-meaning people who try to find comfort in flu statistics while everyone else is focused on COVID-19.
Something just seems off about that perspective. I mean, why would the whole country shut down if the flu really is worse than COVID-19?
So I did some digging at the CDC about flu stats and then reality hit me in the face. I’m including screen grabs of the CDC information for your viewing pleasure.
Because comparing flu deaths to the coronavirus deaths is an apples to oranges comparison since the US didn’t have one single case of COVID-19 in our country until 10 weeks ago and it took a while before it circulated enough to become strictly a community-spread illness like the flu vs. a travel related illness.
Here is what social distancing has done for flu cases in the US for March 2020, when we began social distancing and shutting everything down in the U.S.
Positive new flu cases for WEEK 13 in the US:
633 positive new flu cases for Week 13 of 2020 compared to 5,324 new flu cases last year during the same week last year (way back in 2019).
While the number of flu tests increased substantially, the percentage of positive flu results in the month of March plummeted from 21.5% positive down to only 2.1% positive.
Compare that to last year’s rate of decline:
The overall death rate for flu is approximately .1
The official number of flu deaths for the last week of March 2020 aren’t published yet, but if you calculate the average percentage of deaths from flu, less than 7 deaths per week would occur from 633 positive cases of the flu. And the number of flu cases will undoubtedly drop even more next week.
If the new cases of flu would continue at that rate per week for a year, then the U.S. would see less than 500 deaths in a twelve month period from the flu.
We just saw 5,700 deaths last week from COVID-19 in the U.S. even as we’ve been staying at home for weeks now.
In a really bad flu season, there are less flu deaths in a MONTH on average than the actual number of COVID deaths for last WEEK alone.
What would the number of deaths from COVID be if we were operating the same as we usually do during flu season? Well, of course the death rate would rise and rise and rise each week it it wasn’t for a shut-down.
That’s what we don’t want to happen!
That’s why the United States is shut down. I want the country to open back up, and without some type of promising and readily available way to combat COVID, our citizens will be too fearful to return to normal.
Because this virus isn’t as “nice” as the flu. At this point, it’s more contagious and more deadly than the flu ever thought of being.
I personally don’t think we’re going to continue at a rate of thousands of COVID deaths per week for an entire twelve month period because after we’ve all been locked away from society, surely the death rate will of course decline. Our death rate will eventually level out and “flatten” instead of continuing to spike.
And hopefully by the time we’re congregating in public again, there will be medical breakthroughs that help reduce the number of deaths this illness brings.
But at this very moment, the U.S. is staying home and at this moment we are in fact losing over 1,000 people per day during the same time that deaths from flu cases are dropping significantly per week.
Let that sink in.
Social distancing since mid-March has caused flu deaths to take a backseat while COVID-19 deaths are exploding.
Oh and by the way, remember the 2009 Swine Flu pandemic? Nothing shut down then and we barely even remember it now because two months after it was detected, only 44 people in the US had died from it.
Two months after COVID was detected in the US, over 7,000 people in the US had died from it.
So, there is your flu data for March 2020 and now you know how the flu truly compares to COVID-19 when you’re comparing apples to apples.