“There are two problems with this question. [Actually 2% when considering cases against deaths 14 days prior]
It neglects the law of large numbers; and It assumes that one of two things happen: you die or you’re 100% fine.The US has a population of 328,200,000. If one percent of the population dies, that’s 3,282,000 [6.5M] people dead.
Three million people dead would monkey wrench the economy no matter what. That more than doubles the number of annual deaths all at once. [6.6 M = Indiana, or 9 electoral votes]
The second bit is people keep talking about deaths. Deaths, deaths, deaths. Only one percent die! Just one percent! One is a small number! No big deal, right?
What about the people who survive?
For every one person who dies:
19 more require hospitalization.
18 of those will have permanent heart damage for the rest of their lives.
10 will have permanent lung damage.
3 will have strokes.
2 will have neurological damage that leads to chronic weakness and loss of coordination.
2 will have neurological damage that leads to loss of cognitive function.
So now all of a sudden, that “but it’s only 1% fatal!” becomes:
3,282,000 people dead.
62,358,000 hospitalized. [we have 0.925M staffed beds total, this is were avoiding surges comes in]
59,076,000 people with permanent heart damage. [pre COVID, 18.2M morbidity]
32,820,000 people with permanent lung damage. [pre COVID 50 M with COPD]
9,846,000 people with strokes. [pre COVID 0.6 M]
6,564,000 people with muscle weakness.
6,564,000 people with loss of cognitive function.
That’s the thing that the folks who keep going on about “only 1% dead, what’s the big deal?” don’t get.
The choice is not “ruin the economy to save 1%.” If we reopen the economy, it will be destroyed anyway. The US economy cannot survive everyone getting COVID-19.
[I don’t know where Franklin’s numbers came from, and yes some majority of COVID deaths “would have died anyway” but the associated morbidities are from the people able to survive the infection.
– Franklin Veaux [Tricia Voss]
Franklin’s Quora Post
Heart Disease at CDC
Lung Disease at American Lung Association (Tennesee is the median state for population density)
Stroke Facts at CDC