A little perspective

By Gary McCollum/Opinion

I want to put things in a little perspective for everyone. I learned a long time ago that figures don’t lie, but LIARS CAN FIGURE. If you EVER listened to a politician or an organization citing statistics you will know that. A little research goes a long way. So without further ado, let’s head down this rabbit hole.

Yes, the Wuhan, China Novel Corona Virus AKA Covid 19 is a bad virus. Especially deadly to people 60+ (I’m rounding down for the sake of argument) Yes, it should be taken seriously. Now comes the time for a little perspective:

Thousands of people die in this country each year. Yes, it is always tragic and sometimes avoidable.

Drunk Drivers: (2018 data) 10,511

Automobile accidents: (2019 data) 38,800 (side note: estimated 391,000 drivers were seriously injured in automotive accidents due to “distracted” driving)

Antibiotic – resistant deaths: 35,000
Alcohol-induced deaths: 35,823
Falls: 36,336
Blood poisoning resulting in bacteria: 40,922
Suicide: 47,173
Flu and Pneumonia: 55,672 (has been as high as 80,000)
Accidental Poisoning: 64,795
Diabetes: 83,564
Alzheimer’s: 121,404
Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease: 160,201
All Accidental deaths: 169,936
Medical Errors: 250,000
Cancer: 599,108
Heart Disease: 647,457

Now going through this list, it seems fairly sobering. I don’t see us shutting down fast food restaurants, instituting a healthy eating or exercise mandate, no weight checks before entering the hospital. Speaking of hospitals, they alone are an Epidemic of death due to medical mistakes. Are we shutting them down?

We have had a Vaccine for the Flu for years, but each year 55,672 & up to 80,000 die of the Influenza. Did we keep all our kids out of school for that?

We have done a lot to curb drunk driving, but yet have attempted to REALLY put as much effort into curing Cancer as they have to finding a vaccine for the Wuhan China Corona Virus aka Covid 19

And just for a little topping on the cake.

Did you know that according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, roughly 800,000 children go missing EACH YEAR… IN THE UNITED STATES. EIGHT HUNDRED THOUSAND CHILDREN GO MISSING EACH AND EVERY YEAR.

So the next time you hear these scary COVID-19 numbers being broadcast daily from all angles of every news organization, know there are a lot more evils in this world. Keep things in perspective. Stay Safe, Stay Prepared.

The views and opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Natchitoches Parish Journal.  If you have an article or story of interest for publishing consideration by the NPJ, please send it to NPJNatLa@gmail.com.


19 thoughts on “A little perspective

  1. I was waiting for someone to bring up the 1918 pandemic. Yes, sadly we lost 675,000 in the US, 50M worldwide. That was during a time period from Feb 1918 through April 1920. We are supposed to learn from history so we don’t repeat it. Obviously, some haven’t learned their history lessons. We are repeating sad parts of history because of willful ignorance and total disregard of others. Wear a mask. Stay well.

  2. Figures don’t lie.
    The US has 4% of the world’s population and 25% of coronavirus cases. There were over 2300 more cases reported in Louisiana with 23 deaths today. You speak of all the things that can cause deaths and zero have anything to do with a global pandemic. You even talk of things that aren’t contagious. The flu and pneumonia deaths you mentioned are over a season. The flu season is normally 3-6 months. About 34,000 died of the flu in 2018-2019 season. Up to 62,000 died in 2019-2020 season. There is a vaccine. This covid19 seems to have no season and no vaccine yet. In less than 7 mo, it has claimed nearly 150,000 lives. Estimates are 170,000 deaths by Sept 1 if it continues at the same pace. Very simply, wear a mask to protect yourself to some extent. But mainly wear it to protect others. Don’t be selfish. Wear a mask. Stay well.

  3. Out of the list only is actually any kind of comparison and that’s Flu and Pneumonia: 55,672 (has been as high as 80,000) and again this is not the flu. I’m not going to sit by some and get cancer,I’m not going to have someone cough in my face and become a diabetic. Covid-19 is highly contagious and as if now no cure. So many still not taking it seriously.

    • An excellent point about comparison. The power of the individual regarding an infectious disease is far greater than with that of a genetic disease. If by wearing a mask/ordering takeout/altering a routine I could reduce the incidence of cancer, Alzheimer’s, or suicides, I would certainly do so. That these measures have some effectiveness against Coronavirus means that I am glad to do so.

  4. In 2019 the total number of missing children entered in the FBI’s National Crime Information Center also known as NCIC was 421,394. Please recheck your last statistic.

  5. I have followed these stats for years. Medical errors can be prevented. Infections can be controlled much better by the agency that is supposed to do that. But they don’t. But that doesn’t ,mean that we should accept these findings as “oh well, that’s just the way it is”. Irresponsible driving can be prevented too. But I hear in the aftermath of these tragedies (mostly kids and young adults) that this is God’s will and kids will be kids. Attitudes of “so what” when it doesn’t involve yourself. This virus has been handled the right way and we don’t know what to think. So it has to be that this is political. It has to be people who are out to take away our freedoms. (and our fun). Please people pray for wisdom rather that folly. Oh and you forgot seat belts.

  6. I truly hope you both are wearing masks out in public??? Didn’t see that mentioned at all. My parents live in Natchitoches and they are over 70. Stop trying to reduce this to being a scare tactic. And who are you exactly???? What do you do are you a scientist, a doctor?????

  7. Well stated Gary. Get ready for the attacks. You are now, officially a racist, scientist denier.

  8. To offer a different perspective, deaths from 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina increased deaths above average by around 1 to 2% in their localities, whereas deaths above average in New York City in April touched 5% (from the NYTimes, which some will believe and some will not; I would look at the sources list at the bottom of the article [How the Coronavirus Compares With 100 Years of Deadly Events] before venturing to do so.) Multiply those kinds of jumps in deaths above average all over the country and you have a sustained mortality rate above average that is exceeding past disasters.

    More importantly, the higher infection rate of a disease with a higher mortality rate than the flu is straining the hospital systems, such that some hospitals are having to move patients to other locations. The obvious implication is that this strain worsens the impact of the evils you already mentioned.

    The current American death toll of coronavirus is 149k. The fact that we’ve added a brand new cause of death to that list that exceeds the numbers from a year’s worth of Alzheimer’s deaths (and our year of coronavirus is not yet over, remember) is startlingly problematic. If only because we recognize the gravity of the evils you listed, we should strive to alter our routine, at least to ensure that hospitals are able to handle those evils.

  9. Great explanation of this current fiasco. Yes I said fiasco. It is as deadly virus for us old folks but so are numerous other diseases. I also believe the stat is not reporting correctly. Look at Red River and DeSoto parishes numbers. Over one third were duplicates. Why hasn’t all parishes checked for duplicate cases? Come on Natchitoches Parish review and tell us the truth.

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