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I’ve heard some people on Facebook get very upset when they hear someone compare the COVID-19 virus to the flu. “It’s NOT just like the flu!” they excitedly utter. No, it’s not just like the flu. But if we are being honest about it, it is almost like the flu. The comparison is an apt one. People don’t want to hear it because, I believe, they unconsciously don’t want to be wrong about the level of fear they’ve decided upon.
What the numbers means to you is largely up to you at this point. You can decide it is a small number or you can decide to focus on “that’s just the ones we know about”. While the latter is certainly true I tend to be the kind to focus on what is known rather than what is feared. By all means take reasonable precautions. But right now I must admit it feels like reason has gone by the wayside.
Though we are told not to compare it to the flu, I think using H1N1 as a comparison is enlightening. That is the virus believed to cause what history records as the Spanish Flu which is part of the pandemic of 1918. Which, according to the CDC, “It is estimated that about 500 million people or one-third of the world’s population became infected with this virus. The number of deaths was estimated to be at least 50 million worldwide with about 675,000 occurring in the United States.” That’s what we’re told not to compare COVID-19 to.
Maybe we really should be hiding on our houses, staying away from the mall, eating on the trunk of our car with food we normally would sit and enjoy while being waited on by a server who’s greatest concern was the size of the tip you would give not the virus he might get. Maybe, but somehow it just doesn’t feel right.
That’s one of the problems in times like these, you might be the only sane person or you might be the crazy one and just not know it. It’s like we are being gaslighted by everyone around us. Everyone is so convinced that this is a plague that if you act like it isn’t you being to doubt your own sanity. Then something odd happens. You go out and talk to people. You see them when you get gas, or get that takeout food and they say things just like you say, that it’s all silly, that things are being taken too far, that you should be able to eat in the dining room, that if you are going to catch it just buying that toilet paper at the packed grocery store is going to be the place.
I just don’t feel like there is much I can do to keep from getting sick if I’m going to get sick. I don’t feel like the precautions are really effective. I’m not even sure that hiding is the right way to go about it. Then we hear that it will likely become a seasonal disease like the flu.
But we aren’t to compare it to the flu, that makes people angry. I guess I just wonder why it makes them angry.
Everything you need to know about the flu illness, including symptoms, treatment and prevention.