How Deadly is the Covid19 Virus?

There is much talk of the mortality rate of the covid19 virus. It is said that it is much lower than what was expected. But how can anyone even know what the mortality rate is? Until every case – not just the cases that have been confirmed already, but also those that will be confirmed in the future – have resolved into either “ recovered” or “deceased”, no one knows what the mortality rate is.

To be blunt, what we all really want to know is what our chances of dying are if we get the disease. Since we want to put a number on it, we have to work from the numerical data that we have. Accordingly, we are calculating the ratio of people who die from the disease to those who contract it. But this is wrong. The true way to calculate the rate is to divide the final number of fatalities by the final number of cases. We cannot do that yet because we do not have the data.

People are now dividing the number of fatalities by the number of confirmed active cases and getting low percentages. But there are far more people who still have the disease than there are who are recovered and those that have died put together. These cases will in time be resolved; and until they have been, we do not have the basis to calculate a mortality rate.

If we use the numbers we have, this method yields a ratio of .017 or 1.7 % for the US and 6.2% for the world; reassuring perhaps, at least for Americans, but totally misleading.

A better way to judge the deadliness of the disease is to compare the number of recoveries to the number of fatalities. As of Saturday morning, in the US, 2,465 people who have had the disease have recovered; while there are 1,706 who have died from it. That’s 1.44 recoveries for each death. Put another way, for every 100 people who recover, 69 can be expected to die.

The ratio for the global cases is better – 132,440 recovered versus 26,909 fatalities. That works out to 4.92 recoveries for each fatality or 20 deaths for each 100 recoveries.

Since China is suspected of under-reporting deaths and inflating the number of recoveries, these numbers may be significantly inaccurate. China claims to have had 74,971 recoveries versus 3,295 deaths. That’s 2,280 recoveries for each death, or only 4.4 deaths for each 100 who recover. I for one don’t believe it.

China watchers tell us that any or all of these numbers could be off by a factor of ten. For this reason, the true global ratio is probably nearer to that of the US.

This approach to estimating the deadliness of the disease is not infallible.  But it is accurate enough to give us a truer picture than the one propagated by the media.

So, is the covid19 virus deadly? Don’t trust the propagandists, or the governmental bodies that want to avoid causing a panic. Judge for yourself.

Howard Douglas King

March 28, Year of our Lord 2020

Albert Barnes, Various Comments on Psalm 25

On Affliction and the Remembrance of Our Sins

On Psalm 25:7- Remember not the sins of my youth – In strong contrast with God, the psalmist brings forward his own conduct and life. He could ask of God (Psalm 25:6) to remember His own acts – what “He himself” had done; but could not ask him to remember His conduct – His past life. He could only pray that this might be forgotten. He did not wish it to come into remembrance before God; he could not ask that God would deal with him according to that. He prays, therefore, that he might not be visited as he advanced in life with the fruits of his conduct in early years, but that all the offences of that period of his life might be forgiven and forgotten.

Who is there that cannot with deep feeling join in this prayer? Who is there that has reached the period of middle or advanced life, who would be willing to have the follies of his youth, the plans, and thoughts, and wishes of his early years brought again to remembrance? Who would be willing to have recalled to his own mind, or made known to his friends, to society around him, or to assembled worlds, the thoughts, the purposes, the wishes, the “imaginings” of his youthful days? Who would dare to pray that he might be treated in advancing years as he treated God in his own early life? Nay, who would venture to pray that God would treat him in the day of judgment as he had treated the friends of his childhood, even the father who begat him, or the mother who bore him? Our hope in regard to the favor of God is that he will “not” summon up the thoughts and the purposes of our early years; that he will “not” treat us as if he remembered them; but that he will treat us as if they were forgotten.

On Psalm 25:17- O bring thou me out of my distresses – Alike from my sins, and from the dangers which surround me. These two things, external trouble and the inward consciousness of guilt, are not infrequently combined. Outward trouble has a tendency to bring up the remembrance of past transgressions, and to suggest the inquiry whether the affliction is not a divine visitation for sin. Any one source of sorrow may draw along numerous others in its train. The laws of association are such that when the mind rests on one source of joy, and is made cheerful by that, numerous other blessings will be suggested to increase the joy; and when one great sorrow has taken possession of the soul, all the lesser sorrows of the past life cluster around it, so that we seem to ourselves to be wholly abandoned by God and by man.

On Psalm 25:18- And forgive all my sins – The mind, as above remarked, connects trouble and sin together. When we are afflicted, we naturally inquire whether the affliction is not on account of some particular transgressions of which we have been guilty; and even when we cannot trace any direct connection with sin, affliction suggests the general fact that we are sinners, and that all our troubles are originated by that fact. One of the benefits of affliction, therefore, is to call to our remembrance our sins, and to keep before the mind the fact that we are violators of the law of God. This connection between suffering and sin, in the sense that the one naturally suggests the other, was more than once illustrated in the miracles performed by the Saviour. (See Matt 9:2)