If you catch COVID-19, what are your chances of dying?

If you catch COVID-19, what are your chances of dying? By Worldometer.

Death Rate = (number of deaths / number of cases) = probability of dying if infected by the virus (%).

The percentages shown below do not have to add up to 100%, because they do NOT represent share of deaths by age group. Rather, it represents, for a person in a given age group, the risk of dying if infected with COVID-19.

The stats above are derived from Chinese figures and WHO. Their figures have proved unreliable and shaped by politics in the past. Maybe now they are trying to scare us into longer lockdowns. Previously, when China was spreading the virus, they tried to lull us into complacency — “just like the flu”, “closing borders is racist”.

Compare the rates above to the death rate if you catch the flu, which is generally given as either 0.10% or 0.15%. However, the flu statistics are exaggerated about sixfold (vaccine, anybody?), so the true rate is probably around 0.02%. (Do you know anyone who has died of the flu? Official statistics say the flu is deadlier than car accidents. But I personally know of about ten people who have died on the road, yet none from the flu.)

Covid-19 isn’t exactly the black plague, which killed about a third of Europe the first time around. On the other hand, it’s deadlier than the flu.

Note also that this view is only of deaths, which ignores the neurological and other damage left by the disease in recovered patients.

What’s the appropriate cost to avoid covid-19 or stamp out an infection? The jury is still out.

But remember, all great civilizations were built by brave men who said, “Let the oldies take care of themselves”. 🙂

Some countries are mounting an ineffective defense, either deliberately (Sweden) or by not closing their borders to reinfection (US, UK) or because they don’t have the physical resources to lockdown long enough (some less developed world countries). So many countries are effectively just letting it run. These tables give some idea of what the resulting cull will be like in those countries.

Other countries are on the way to casting out the virus. One day, after a biotech solution comes along, we will be able to tally up the costs of crushing the curve as opposed to lying back and being infected. It is quite possible that the world will never come to a conclusion about whether a four to six week lockdown was worth it to rid themselves of the virus.

Shame we didn’t close the borders in mid February when this blog and (we have subsequently found) some experts were calling for it. Then we would be virus free without any lockdown, which, as we pointed out at the time, would be the cheapest solution. But a complacent and incompetent political class just ignored the danger until too late.