Sir, your article’s premise is misleading and irresponsible. When referring to pandemics, such irresponsibility can get people killed.

COVID-19 is:

  • at least contagious as (and possibly more contagious than) any current strains of influenza making the rounds.
  • To make things worse, there are reports that — like influenza — COVID-19 is contagious without visible symptoms.
  • Worst of all, COVID-19 may have an incubation of up to 27 days
  • And then there’s the very real possibility that — unlike influenza — recovery from a coronavirus does NOT confer immunity to the same virus.

Influenza normally has about a 0.1% mortality rate. Current data indicates that COVID-19 has a mortality rate of at least 2%…and that’s only if we have an accurate count of mortalities in China. Unfortunately, China’s mortality count may well be too low since — like in every other great pandemic — a lot of bodies aren’t found until someone opens the door to their residence wondering what the smell’s coming from.

Add all that together: (1) at least as contagious as the flu, (2) contagious w/o symptoms, (3) a possible 27-day incubation period, (4) possibly no immunity to the virus after initial recovery, and (5) a mortality rate twenty times that of influenza.

Combined with ease of modern travel, the above is almost a sure-fire recipe for a great pandemic. The 1918 H1N1 pandemic “only” had a mortality rate of 5% — after it mutated from a less-serious strain in early 1918 — and it still killed 50M people when our global population was only 1B and mostly rural. Now we’re 8B and mostly urban.

This year’s influenza was worse than most…but COVID-19 looks to be much, much worse. Because of that, your article can easily mislead those who are less well-informed. I respectfully suggest you reconsider its contents.

Retired Navy. Inveterate contrarian. If I haven’t done it, I’ve usually done something close.