COVID-19 and Comorbidities – Religion and Politics

Table 3 shows the types of health conditions and contributing causes mentioned in conjunction with deaths involving coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). For 6% of the deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned. For deaths with conditions or causes in addition to COVID-19, on average, there were 2.6 additional conditions or causes per death. The number of deaths with each condition or cause is shown for all deaths and by age groups.

Centers for Disease Control WebsiteWeekly Updates by Select Demographic and Geographic Characteristics

The quote above was taken from the CDC website. The first link goes to their main page, the second to the specific page from which this text was excerpted.

The underlined sentences are what I’m interested in here, but for the purpose of full disclosure, I’ve taken the entire statement, so you can see all of it. If you want more information, you can go to the page itself to see what it says. Further information can be found on various pages at the CDC’s website concerning COVID-19.

I’m not entirely certain who initially found this verbiage tucked away on the page in question. Whoever it was did a great service to folks out there who were interested in the truth about this virus.

Many have taken this piece of data and turned it into something it assuredly is not. Probably the most extreme example of this, is people who choose to say that COVID-19 only amounts to six percent of the deaths currently attributed to it.

Where it’s fair to say only that number can be completely ascribed to the illness, it’s not proper to make the statement that’s the total number of people whose deaths can be considered to be at least partly a result of contracting it.

In the same way one would rarely argue that pneumonia was solely responsible for the death of a bedridden geriatric person, we can assert that COVID-19 doesn’t bare complete blame for the death of people with additional, serious, comorbidities.

Does this mean COVID-19 can’t be counted to have been part of what caused the individual’s demise? Of course not. It’s even fair to say in some instances, it was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.

This however, doesn’t change the fact that absent other factors, it’s entirely unreasonable to assume most persons having died would’ve done so. It’s possible the ailment alone could have caused their demise, but based on an extremely small number of folks for whom that seems to have been the case, I would count it pretty unlikely.

I would go so far as to say that out of all those having passed as a result of COVID-19 along with other health issues, had they not had those additional conditions, it’s likely they would have added no more than four percent to the count of those otherwise healthy individuals contracting the virus and dying. Keep in mind this is my guess—behind it, there is no calculation or science whatever.

Remember too, that we’re not even accounting for factors like age, though the table in question does do that. Keeping in mind that per the CDC (Weekly Updates by Select Demographic and Geographic Characteristics), the number of people having died in the entirety of the supposed pandemic from the 1st of February 2020 to the 2nd of November 2020 under the age of 65, has been 35,727, it becomes pretty obvious that the people at greatest risk possess two factors that work together to increase the possibility of fatality.

In case what I’m not saying is not clear, those two factors would be:

  1. Relatively advanced age and
  2. Serious additional health challenges

Since most folks over the age of 65 would be considered at least eligible for retirement, I think we can reasonable say they’re senior citizens.

It seems to me this is the population who should be protecting themselves or being protected from this condition.

It’s at this point that we come to the last inconvenient fact for those still pushing lock downs, mask wear and social distancing for the population at large.

The CDC also keeps statistics on week-to-week deaths for folks having contracted COVID-19. That data can be found at a page titled Daily Updates of Totals by Week and State. Keep in mind that the last two weekly periods are often adjusted (typically upwards). Even so, where we see a peak in deaths starting in the week ending on the 4th of July 2020, it’s equally obvious that after climbing to the acme in the week ending on the 25th of July 2020, the numbers have been in steady decline.

It’s likely this increase coincides with the opening of various states and localities. That said, even though their doing so resulted in a four week uptick in deaths, after that fourth week, the numbers again began to drop. I should make clear as well, that the highest number of deaths for that period is still less than half the number for the week of the 4th of April 2020.

The point here, is that if other states and municipalities were to open up, the chances are quite good we would see a near term increase in deaths, followed by a relatively similar downturn in short order.

Being clear, nobody wants anyone to die, even so, it happens. With proper management, I believe it should be possible to minimize mortality. That said, everything I see indicates that at present, we’re simply delaying the inevitable. That cannot last forever; and even if it could, the cost in lives lost to other factors for the rest of society, won’t be a small one.

We know people die of the ‘flu, yet we don’t shut down the world to postpone that which we’re fully aware is coming. Based on what I’m seeing, we’ve less of an argument for doing so with this virus.

So where that six percent number isn’t indicative of all people for whom COVID-19 was even the primary cause of mortality, it’s still a helpful indicator when determining the best course of action going forward. What should that look like? I’m no expert, and my answer is strictly based on how things look to me at this point. That said, the answer would be, “Protect at-risk populations, but open things back up to the greatest degree possible.” I wonder just how many people would really disagree with that—particularly considering the already-high costs on so many and on such numerous fronts, that are the result of current measures.

Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.

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