In the never-ending sea of Coronavirus stories, it’s hard to find anyone talking about anything but fear-driven news to get clicks. Early on we warned people to be prepared but do not panic or pay to much attention to the initial numbers.
And today, we wanted to give another perspective instead of the 24/7 fear-driven news on Coronavirus.
Dr. Jeremy Samuel Faust, an emergency medicine physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and an instructor at Harvard Medical School is warning the public not to get too anxious about the Coronavirus numbers and claims the World Health Organizations 3.4% death rate numbers are inaccurate and the true number is likely less than 1%.
My colleagues @reverendofdoubt @Ted_Melnick and I have published a Rapid Response in @bmj_latest explaining why the case fatality rate of SARS-nCoV-2 is likely to have been over-estimated.— Jeremy Faust MD MS (@jeremyfaust) March 5, 2020
Check it out!https://t.co/y9kqKeKxwt pic.twitter.com/yqtNSCvQUw
The doctor slammed the news media and the ‘frightening numbers’ which he says overstate the actual risk. He points to what happened on the Diamond Princess cruise ship as his proof, saying it was the perfect controlled environment to study how the disease spread.
‘A quarantined boat is an ideal—if unfortunate—natural laboratory to study a virus. Many variables normally impossible to control are controlled,’ wrote Faust.
‘We know that all but one patient boarded the boat without the virus. We know that the other passengers were healthy enough to travel. We know their whereabouts and exposures.’
So far, somewhere around 705 passengers out of the 3,711 onboard the boat caught coronavirus. More than half of the infected people did not show any symptoms or signs of illness. Six died, making the death rate for those onboard only .0085.
The data also shows that the virus is mainly affecting older patients with underlying medical conditions.
Dr. Jeremy Samuel Faust also said he doubts the numbers coming out of China, saying it is impossible to know how many people in China were already ill before being infected with the virus – and how many actually died of coronavirus and not a similar illness.
‘Most were older patients in whom the chronic diseases listed above are prevalent. Most deaths occurred in Hubei province, an area in which lung cancer and emphysema/COPD are significantly higher than national averages in China, a country where half of all men smoke,’ wrote Faust.
Coronavirus is ‘a relatively benign disease’ for young people and, though it is dangerous for the elderly and chronically ill, the dangers are far lower than people think, Faust said.
So Should you Prepare?
We still 100% believe the public should be prepared, but as I’ve stated numerous times my advice on Coronavirus preparedness is no different that the preparedness advice that we give on this website 24/7/365 for the last ten years and through multiple manmade and natural disasters.
The fact is bad things happen, and as we’ve talked about since the inception of this site, one of the biggest threats during a disaster is people and how they react.
So while we still don’t know what the actual Coronavirus numbers are, we do know how people act during disasters and it usually isn’t pretty. In fact, in Washington where there have been 10 Coronavirus related deaths, there have been reports of people actually trying to purposely spread the disease after getting mad that they couldn’t be tested.
“We have had patients presenting here, angry that they cannot be tested for COVID-19, yelling, cussing, throwing their dirty mask at us and even spitting their secretions on the floor and walls on their way out,” Nurse practitioner Paula Ruedebusch, who works at an urgent care clinic in the Seattle suburb of Monroe, wrote on Facebook.
And we have seen widespread panic buying from people who have never taken preparedness seriously, resulting in stores that are now struggling to keep supplies in stock.
So our advice remains the same as it has always been for any potential disaster or emergency situation:
- We urge you to have at least a 4 week supply of food and emergency supplies on hand at all times. Most stores only have a 1-2 day supply on hand before they need to be restocked; and as we are seeing throughout the country many of big box retailers are struggling to keep goods in stock.
- Start to Prepare for economic issues, and make sure you have cash on hand.
- Read our article on Pandemics and How to Prepare for a Pandemic Outbreak.
Other Preparedness Resource:
- Prepper 101: Your Survival Guide to Getting Started
- Natural Disasters: Emergency Preparedness Checklist
- BUGOUT: 60+ Preparedness Resources for Bugging Out
- Emergency Communication Preparedness Checklist
- Best Emergency Food: The Top Survival Food Supplies
Mindset: How to overcome Fear and not Give into Panic!