The Politics of Fear (Supplementary)

Source of photo: https://www.buzzfeed.com

I wrote a blog post about the politics of fear in a general sense this past July as one of my early blog entries. You can read that post at the link below:

https://therationalram.blog/2019/07/28/the-politics-of-fear/

This blog entry is more focused on the current coronavirus pandemic, but the premise is the same..

We all need to keep calm and carry on.

There is a stark difference between reacting to this pandemic out of an abundance of caution and reacting out of fear and hyper-anxiety.

As of the writing of this blog entry, the death count worldwide from this virus stands at 69,082 people out of 1,263,976 cases worldwide. That’s a death rate of 5%.

In the United States, there are 9,458 deaths out of 331,234 cases. A death rate of just under 3%.

https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2020/health/coronavirus-maps-and-cases/

Let those numbers sink in for a moment and then consider how many people die each year from the following (from the CDC):

  • Heart disease – 650,000
  • Cancer – 600,000
  • Accidents – 170,000
  • Chronic respiratory diseases – 160,000
  • Stroke – 150,000
  • Diabetes – 85,000

Another 40,000 die from gun deaths (of which about 60% are suicide.) (Warell, Forbes 2020)

https://www.forbes.com/sites/margiewarrell/2020/02/02/fear-spreads-faster-than-any-coronavirus/#b8e8287bf160

We will lose more Americans to diabetes this year than we will likely lose to the novel coronavirus by several orders of magnitude. Yet outside of old Wilfred Brimley commercials from the 1990s, I don’t see anyone freaking out about diabetes.

I’m all for taking precautions to limit the spread of the coronavirus that can kill our most vulnerable people. Even the healthiest of people can die from COVID-19 under the right circumstances, after all, it is an upper respiratory disease.

However, I am not going to let fear dictate my actions or cause me undue stress. Especially media-driven, politically-motivated fear.

Looking at the numbers for heart disease, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases in this country, it appears to me that the media-driven, politically expedient concerns over the novel coronavirus are the least of America’s problems.

I offer this post, like my other blog posts on this subject, merely to lend needed perspective.

Keep calm and carry on!

-The Rational Ram

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