I see a striking similarity between fear of the coronavirus and fear of opioid addiction.
Like everywhere else on campus, and in much of the world, the coronavirus was all anybody could talk about. But one of the attendees, a public health student, had had enough. Exasperated, she rattled off a set of statistics.
The virus had killed about 1,100 worldwide and infected around a dozen in the United States. Alarming, but a much more common illness, influenza, kills about 400,000 people every year, including 34,200 Americans last flu season and 61,099 the year before.
So the 80,000 flu deaths I previously cited from the 2017-2018 winter flu was unusual, but not entirely out of the norm. Continue reading