Mass General Hospital performed random COVID-19 antibody testing in a suburban neighborhood of Boston (Chelsea, MA) and found that 1/3 of those tested were positive. Performing my patented back of the envelope calculations on statistics available from Massachusetts I find the following:
Massachusetts has a population of about seven million people. 1,404 Massachusetts residents have died from COVID-19 infection. Assuming that 33.3% of the state has been infected by the virus then the death rate from COVID-19 in Massachusetts is 0.06%. And that actually is in the range of deaths you’d expect from the normal flu.
Alright, let’s check the assumptions. Is Chelsea representative of Massachusetts as a whole? Probably not. It’s more densely populated than most parts of the state. So let’s do the calc again for Chelsea:
Chelsea has a population of about 40,000. people. 39 Chelsea residents have died from COVID-19 infection. Assuming that 33.3% of Chelsea has been infected by the virus then the death rate from COVID-19 in Chelsea is 0.29%. Now that is higher than the death rate for the normal flu, let’s say five times higher. But that’s a lot less scary than the extinction event they’ve making this thing out to be.
So, here is where we are. For most people who will “catch” the COVID-19 virus they will never know they had it. They’ll think their allergies or a cold gave them some symptoms for a day or two. For something like three people out of a thousand, mostly the elderly or the chronically ill, this virus will be a life or death struggle. If society wants to spare those people from risk they’ll need to be isolated. For everyone else we need to go on with our lives and get back to work so our taxes can pay for taking care of the vulnerable.