MORGAN: Nothing To Fear – But Flu Itself

MONEY TALK

Nothing To Fear

– But Flu Itself

Tom Morgan, the retired Oneonta investment counselor and national syndicated columnist, resides in Franklin.

Are you frightened by this virus?

You should be. Consider these scary figures please.

Consider up to 45 million Americans infected by this virus.

Yes, 45 million!!! With three exclamation points!

Consider from 350,000 to 560,000 Americans so sick with it they have to be hospitalized. And consider from 18,000 to 46,000 people dying from the virus. This, according to our Center for Disease Control.

These figures describe the situation in the U.S. The World Health Organization offers global figures that should frighten you more. Figures such as 3 to 5 million people severely ill with the virus. And from 250,000 to 500,000 dying from it.

Wait! It gets worse. Recently the CDC and other prestigious organizations upped the world numbers to 650,000 deaths.

Such staggering numbers justify the flight cancellations. And the zillions of masks. We can hardly blame countries for closing their borders. Or for quarantining cities.

There is no mystery why stock markets around the world would crash. Looking at these numbers, we welcome the news that responsible countries and states have declared states of emergency.

Before you stick your head in the oven, let us consider an additional fact. The virus I refer to is not the current coronavirus. It is our annual flu virus. The one for which so many of us cannot be bothered to get a shot.

Repeat. I am not here writing about the latest virus. The one that has turned the world upside down. No. I write about the ho-hum annual flu and its season.

Yes, up to 45 million Americans were sick with the flu this season. That is, between last Oct. 1 to Feb. 22 this year. And, yes, up to 45,000 of us died from that flu.

We barely noticed. Well, our big media barely noticed. And so we, not informed, took the flu season in stride. We barely noticed that those strides took us over and past 45,000 dead folks.

We and our media took little note of this calamity because it was nothing new. The figures are daunting every flu season. For instance, look at 2017-18. Up to 45 million flu patients. Just in the U.S. Up to 1.4 million people hospitalized. Just in the U.S. Up to 95,000 Americans died from influenza.

The media did not scream these figures at us. Politicians did not blame their opponents for them. Nobody blamed Trump for the 95,000 deaths. Nobody shutdown anything while this contagion raged.

We lost 95,000 Americans to one virus in the 2017-18 flu season and as a nation we yawned. Thus far we have lost fewer than 100 lives to coronavirus, and all hell has broken loose.

What is going on to cause this? A few things.

One is that this is a new virus. The world’s disease experts did not know much about it. Therefore they could not predict where it would go. Nor how quickly. Nor could they predict how deadly it would be. Or not be.

By the time they got a decent look at it, it had the appearance of a bomb. That is because the secretive Chinese kept the world and their own people in the dark about the outbreak in Wuhan. Until it was too late to contain it. Had they been open and transparent from the start the world might never have had to hit the panic buttons.

There is a further big factor in this. We should realize that FDR’s warning lives on because it was the truth.

Yes: The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

Why did this fear grow so quickly and so great amongst us? Did our medical researchers proclaim the end of the world was nigh? Did they fling about predictions that millions would perish from this flu? Did they proclaim that various leaders screwed up? And thereby condemned millions to illness and death?

Nope. Most top medical guys were pretty cautious. It was Big Media that hyped this epidemic. It was Big Media that flooded our screens with urgent news. It was Big Media that wheeled out the so-called experts to warn us this virus was deadly and dangerous and scary and horrendous.

They did it for the clicks. The more they scared us the more we clicked on their news. And the more money they hauled in from their advertisers.

This virus is no small matter. We should not turn our back on it. Our experts need to learn much more about it. We should take it seriously. Especially if it surges way beyond where it is at the moment. But thus far it pales when you compare it with our annual flu epidemic.

Big media disagree. And the more they disagree, the more money they make. They get paid to scare the hell
out of us.

From Tom…as in Morgan.

 


4 thoughts on “MORGAN: Nothing To Fear – But Flu Itself

  1. byngh1

    Good take on the reality of the situation, however sticking our collective head in the sand is not yet a good option until we know more about the cure , possible deadly mutations of the virus and progress toward developing an effective vaccine.

  2. Franzi Kuhne

    My thoughts exactly!….while family members beg me to cancel my upcoming month in Florida. So far, I’m standing my ground.

  3. Anonymous

    You folks in denial, including the article’s author, are not reading the reports from Italy. You are not reading the medical literature EASILY available online (for instance The Lancet). You are potentially making this much much worse. Do some homework, whether in the “big media” or the scientific media. Don’t be nonchalant vectors of a respiratory infection that may be 10 times more deadly than the flu.

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-death-rate/#comparison

    https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/6/20-0233_article
    “In conclusion, our estimates of the risk for death from COVID-19 in China as of February 11, 2020, were as high as 12% in the epicenter of the epidemic and as low as ≈1% in the less severely affected areas in China. Because the risk for death from COVID-19 is probably associated with a breakdown of the healthcare system in the absence of pharmaceutical interventions (i.e., vaccination and antiviral drugs), enhanced public health interventions (including social distancing measures, quarantine, enhanced infection control in healthcare settings, and movement restrictions), as well as enhanced hygienic measures in the general population and an increase in healthcare system capacity, should be implemented to rapidly contain the epidemic.”

    The average death rate for a “regular” flu is well below 1% for comparison.

  4. Chip Northrup

    What a flippant comparison. To what purpose ?

    1.There is a vaccine for the flu. None for COVID 19
    2. There are readily available tests for the flu. Precious few for COVID
    3. There are specific medications for the flu. None for COVID
    4. The flu has a mortality rate of less than 1%. COVID is 3%, much higher for the elderly

    Absent adequate testing or a vaccine, COVID is a not something to be flippant about.

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