Sunday, May 3, 2020


I hear a lot of chatter being thrown around the webiverse regarding Flu deaths compared to COVID-19 deaths.

It is patently obvious to me that many of you did NOT listen to your middle school math teacher, because accurately making this comparison involves computation of Unit Rate.

"When are we ever gonna need this?" NOW! 

Before you open your virtual mouth and let your fingers fly over that keyboard or tap on that screen do some simple division.

Why? Because when someone starts talking about apples, and you start describing oranges, you make yourself look like a fruitcake!

Unit Rate is a very simple concept. To compare numbers accurately, you must base them on the same single point of reference.

You have all seen unit rate on the shelf labels in grocery stores: it informs you how much an item costs per ounce, or per pound, or per any other unit by which it is sold.

Unit Rate involves division. For the comparison in question, COVID-19 deaths compared to Flu deaths, divide the total number of deaths to the time period over which they occurred.

USA COVID-19 Deaths (so far): 66,385 over a period of three and a half months (first USA case was January 21, 2020) or 103 days.

USA Flu Deaths: 62,000 (this is an estimated figure from the CDC based on modeling as an actual number of deaths isn't available due to reporting issues) over a period of twelve months or 365 days.

So the Unit Rates for an accurate comparison of these two is as follows:


These figures were derived by taking the total deaths and dividing by the period of time involved (months or days). And because there is no such thing as a decimal or fractional part of a person, the result was rounded UP.

Now let's start playing "Nerd Bingo" for those of you who would prefer to ignore the basic math.

Even if the number of deaths for Flu were the same as COVID-19 (raising the Flu death toll to 66,345),  the following results occur:


And for those of you who are still insisting that the Flu is worse, let's use the absolute upper value that the CDC reports as possible for deaths due to Flu - 79,000:


Finally, using that last value for Flu deaths, and projecting out a possible longer period of time here in the US (first Chinese case - November 17, 2019 which leads to a time period of 5-1/2 months or 168 days):

So regardless of how you tweak the numbers, COVID-19 is at least TWICE AS BAD as Flu.

Stop making yourself look ridiculous by comparing apples to oranges and do the basic math!

(And while you are at it, stay six feet away and wear a mask!)

Recent claims by armchair scientists and back-seat medical professionals tout the figure of 37,305 by the CDC as the most accurate count of COVID-19 deaths. So let me repost the data using that figure :

At 62,000 Flu deaths per year


At 66,345 Flu deaths per year

At 79,000 Flu deaths per year

So even at the WORST CASE Flu scenario, COVID-19 has already beat it, hands down! 

And that is with all the precautions that have been put into place regarding masks, social distancing, partial/full shutdowns - things that have not been put in place for the Flu.
Let's face it, the numbers don't lie - COVID-19/Coronavirus is WORSE than people realize!

So suck it up buttercup. Put on your mask, stay six feet away, and stop the kvetching.

In the words of Ghandi, "There are no rights without responsibilities!" and some of you just don't get it.

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