Early on in the coronavirus pandemic, before they began lambasting Donald Trump for not doing enough to combat it, the media played down the severity of the virus. An estimated 20,000 people have died from the flu so far this season, NBC News trumpeted.
As of today, the death toll from coronavirus is 149,884, according to Worldometers. It is certain to get higher before the pandemic ends.
In spite of these realities, many people continue to scoff at the risk. Some have openly defied reports from the health community, engaging in what sadly has come to be known as the “coronavirus challenge.” Those who accept the dare agree to post videos of themselves licking public toilet seats and the like. One “player” has already come down with a COVID-19 infection.
If you or someone you know has argued that the flu is more deadly than coronavirus, consider the results of a survey conducted in November 2018 by the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center (NORC). One of the findings was that 41% of adults said they were not planning to get a flu shot that year. Another was that the majority of the 185 children who died from the flu in 2018 did not receive the flu vaccine. Said infectious disease specialist Allison Bartlett, an associate professor of pediatrics at UChicago Medicine, “Studies have shown that flu vaccination cuts the risk of flu-associated death by half in children.”
How is this relevant to the current pandemic? Researchers are already busy attempting to isolate a COVID-19 vaccine. Israeli scientists expect to have a vaccine relatively soon. One should certainly reach the marketplace by 2021. If 41% of adults refuse the COVID-19 vaccine once it is available, expect a picture at least as bleak as this year’s.