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What are the real numbers?


What are the real numbers? No, really? When this whole Coronavirus thing got started the numbers didn’t seem to be in dispute. WorldOMeter.com reported each day how many people had been diagnosed with the Coronavirus and how many people had died from it. Nobody seemed to question it. But with nothing much else to do while we were “sheltering in place” we did what humans tend to do when we’re bored, we started “questioning the data.” I have also questioned information that seems to be off a little. I started keeping daily records of the stats on March 12th. On that day, 129,854 people worldwide were reported to have been diagnosed with it, and 4,751 people had died, for a 3.7% death rate. In this country it was 1,377 diagnosed and 38 dead, for a 2.8% death rate. Here in the US the death rate continued to shrink until Monday, March 23rd, when it reached 1.2%. Since then the death rate (the number you get when you divide the number of deaths by the number of people infected) has been on a steady rise. Each Monday after the 23rd the death rate increased to 1.7%, then 2.9%, then 4.0%, then 5.3%, then 5.6% and this Monday it was 5.8% (68,609 deaths divided by 1,189,024 cases). But the question is; is 68,609 deaths an accurate number? What about the stories that some hospitals are reporting heart attack and cancer deaths as Coronavirus deaths? And is the 1.2 million cases in the US correct? Stanford University came out with a study that found that 55 times more people have or have had it than what the official statistics report. Are they right? I don’t think anyone really knows. More and more people are determining that they don’t care. They just want their life back. So whatever number will get them back to work and earning a paycheck is the number they’ll go with. And isn’t that the ultimate nature of humans? We believe the numbers that fit our narrative. If the number of deaths from the virus is half what they’re reporting, and the number of cases is 55 times higher, then the death rate falls from a truly scary 5.8% to a much less scary 0.05%. I hope the later is the case because this country, this state and this county need to go back to work. Our workers need to be making cars, and tires, and ball bearings and all the other products that are needed when the economy is humming along. The president is a good cheerleader for the economy, but like the cheerleaders in a high school basketball game, he can’t win it for us. The players have to hit the baskets and win the game. If the economy does come back quickly, the stock market will be okay. But if not, it may take a long time before the Dow reaches a new high. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed. Oh, and one more thing; saying a prayer for the economy wouldn’t hurt any, either.

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