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Coronavirus - This is not the Flu

Updated: Dec 28, 2021

I think many of you are starting to appreciate the (potential) severity and disruption this virus may cause. But, I have also heard some state "it's just the like the flu". This is just not true. The biggest concern with this virus is the hospitalization rate, infection with this virus leads to a hospitalization rate, easily 10 times higher than seen with influenza. No country in the world has the excess hospital capacity to deal with a large number of CoV-induced hospitalizations. Therefore, we (and governments) must do what we can do to mitigate the spread of this disease throughout the community.

Here are some stats:

Average recovery time:

COVID-19: 30 days

Flu: 9 days

Hospitalization rate:

COVID-19: 18.5%

Flu: ~1%

ICU rate

COVID-19: 5%

Flu: 0.2%

Fatality rate:

COVID-19: 0.5% - 5%

Flu: 0.06%-0.1%

Doctors are describing the disease as a combination of SARS and AIDS, as it damages both the lungs and immune systems.

The one saving grace, is that the virus is sparing children. They are being infected, but they are not likely to get seriously ill. In the first 50,000 or so cases, the 30 - 70 yo account for the majority of infections, but it is the 60 and older that account for the majority of the deaths.

In contrast, Influenza tends to hit the very young and the very old

Basically, if this virus gets a similar community dispersion as influenza, we are going to see an unprecedented level of hospitalizations.

"Actions that look ridiculous today will look most reasonable in 3 weeks"

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