Reporting by health officials and the mass media of coronavirus deaths continues to be very misleading. This is outrageous because the strategies moving forward to fight the pandemic will be impacted to a great extent by how public opinion effects our leaders. If the facts are incomplete, withheld or spun improperly, our leaders may be influenced to act inappropriately. The back to school issue, for instance, can be greatly distorted depending upon how one considers and evaluates deaths from the virus.
The natural inclination is to be conservative when it comes to our children. When in doubt, do the safest thing. But if an assessment of back to school includes concern about potential deaths, which it should, our leaders should be leaning towards the back to school alternative. This is because very few deaths of young people are attributable to the coronavirus.
Public health officials and the media have been warning us that coronavirus kills not just old or immunocompromised people, but young people too. While this is true, it remains relatively uncommon. The CDC provided accumulated mortality data about COVID-19 from February 1st through June 17th. It follows below.
Deaths % Covid Deaths
Under 1 year 8 0.008
1-4 years 5 0.00 5
5-14 years 13 0.013
15-24 years 125 0.121
25-34 years 699 0.676
35-44 years 1,780 1.722
45-54 years 4,976 4.815
55-64 years 12,307 11,909
65-74 years 21,462 20.769
75-84 years 27,259 26.640
85 years and older 34,435 33,322
All 103,339 100.00
As shown, deaths of young people, from babies to college students, are almost nonexistent. The first age group to provide a substantial contribution to the death total is 45 – 55 years. This group contributes nearly 5% of all coronavirus deaths. More than 80% of deaths occur in people aged 65 and over.
Of course, there are other considerations. For instance, children could be infected and possibly bring the virus home to parents and, worse, grandparents. This essay is not politicking for one decision over another. Rather, it is merely pointing out that if leaders are shying away from opening schools because of the mortality alone, the decision is not sound.