As the COVID-19 pandemic drags on, Americans are eager for a return to normalcy. And we should be: For months, our lives have been disrupted by a virus whose deadliness has been exaggerated.
Ever since the World Health Organization pegged the COVID-19 fatality rate at 3.4 percent, uncertainty gave way to anxiety, fear and paranoia. People worried about the second coming of the Spanish Flu.
Let’s be clear: Reality is far more optimistic. In 1918, the Spanish Flu brought a fatality rate of more than 2.5 percent, infecting one-third of the world’s population and killing as many as 100 million people. Fast forward to today, and the COVID-19 fatality rate is 0.26 percent. Globally, about 800,000 people infected by the coronavirus have passed away.
Every death is a tragedy. But 800,000 is still a far, far cry from 100 million. In my home state of West Virginia, for example, there have been roughly 10,000 cases, and about 200 people have died. Perspective still matters and we can’t allow hysteria to cloud the facts. Most states, especially rural ones, are coping with the coronavirus remarkably well.
Read the full op-ed on InsideSources by Dr. Chris Stansbury, an optometrist in Charleston, West Virginia, and a partner of the Job Creators Network Foundation.