What Is the Right Level of Fear for Living during a Pandemic?

Original source: National Review

August 25, 2020

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Late last month, a new Franklin Templeton-Gallup research project on behavioral response to COVID-19 revealed that . . .

  1. Americans believe that people aged 55 and older account for just over half of total COVID-19 deaths; the actual figure is 92 percent.
  2. Americans believe that people aged 44 and younger account for about 30 percent of total deaths; the actual figure is 2.7 percent.
  3. Americans overestimate the risk of death from COVID-19 for people aged 24 and younger by a factor of 50; and they think the risk for people aged 65 and older is half of what it actually is (40 percent vs 80 percent).

I would agree with the argument that many Americans overestimate the likelihood that COVID-19 will kill them if they catch the coronavirus. They’re probably even overestimating the likelihood that COVID-19 will kill the elderly who catch it. The death rate for those who test positive for the coronavirus over age 80 on Worldometers is 21.9 percent. That’s awful, but it also means that almost eight out of every ten octogenarians who catch the virus will survive.

Read the full article on National Review by Jim Geraghty.