# This is just like flu

Disasters   (3,264 Views | 47 Replies)

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This is a seasonal respiratory disease.  In all likelihood, it will kill 60,000 people.

We deal with this sort of thing annually with influenza, it kills around 60,000 people a year.  While that is a lot of people, we don't do anything draconian.  There needs to be some kind of balance between disease prevention, and quality of life.  We make these choices all the time to create balance.  We could ban junk food, or lower (and enforce) speed limits and save 100,000 lives easily.

I have seen some variation of that logic posted here, and it is bewildering.  At first I doubted that some posters were actually nurses- it takes a certain amount of critical thinking ability and understanding of math to pass the NCLEX.  But, it looks like some are.  Though I haven't noticed any of them posting their experience in heavy Covid regions.

This is so wrong, it should not need explanation, but I will try.

For starters, comparing two things because of similar mortality to each other is a specious argument.  You could just as accurately say that, best case scenario, Covid 19 will kill as many Americans in one short season as we lost during the Viet Nam war. Oddly, nobody advocating for reducing restrictions makes that comparison.

More important- Comparing Influenza to Covid 19, or putting them next to each other for "perspective" is like comparing a light drizzle to a tsunami based on my personal experience with them.  I can go out in a light drizzle for an hour in a windbreaker, and only get a little wet.  I can wear \$800 worth of goretex for 5 minutes in a tsunami, and I will also get a little wet.

If somebody gets shot with a 9mm while wearing a body armor and only sustained a bruise, they don't then think a 9mm is pretty much like a bb gun.

Plenty of analogies- point is that if we somehow manage to keep the death rates similar, it will have been at the expense of the most massive mitigation effort in human history.

If you want to compare numbers, go with 60,000 vs 2,000,000.  Notice the extra zeros.  2,000,000 is the absolute low end of the mortality estimate of what would have happened had we treated these two respiratory viruses as similar.  I use this particular number because it was used by Trump and reported by Fox.  Seems like most experts think it is a bit low, but I think it is a fine number for comparison.

When nurses here in any way compare, conflate, juxtapose, relate or whatever these two illnesses in any way other than the respiratory component, I do wonder if they actually believe it, or if it is simply for shock value.  Either way, I wish it would act like an eject button when they post it.  I don't mean that they should be ejected from this forum.  I mean like in a cartoon, that when they hit "submit topic", they go sailing through the air.

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A Hit With The Ladies has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Psych.

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When the government requires afflicted people to stay home, it's quarantine. When the government requires healthy people to stay home, it's tyranny.

I believe broader society has done more than enough to mitigate the spread of Coronavirus at this point. Any further stay-at-home orders is going to wreck our economy and our society. The supposed cure cannot be worse than the disease.

We may be nurses, but we are not at all monolith in our views on how Coronavirus should be handled. The only thing that brings us together is our career choice.

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6 minutes ago, A Hit With The Ladies said:

When the government requires afflicted people to stay home, it's quarantine. When the government requires healthy people to stay home, it's tyranny.

I believe broader society has done more than enough to mitigate the spread of Coronavirus at this point. Any further stay-at-home orders is going to wreck our economy and our society. The supposed cure cannot be worse than the disease.

We may be nurses, but we are not at all monolith in our views on how Coronavirus should be handled. The only thing that brings us together is our career choice.

Interesting threshold for "tyranny".

What is the connection to my post?

Happy to discuss best plans for economic recovery in different thread.

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Emergent has 25 years experience.

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The economic impact on the rest of America is a very big part of this discussion. Economic damage to people will also cause a myriad of Health problems. It's all part of the equation.

There are a lot of people who have a steady income still, weather it is retirement income or that there jobs are unaffected by the shutdown. I'm noticing that those people are more likely to expect others to take a hit, often accusing them of not caring that people are dying. There are a lot of guilt trips being laid on people.

This coronavirus it seems more virulent than influenza. Having said that, it is not wiping out huge portions of the population. It is finishing off people who are already often challenged by multiple health problems. They're not just dying of the coronavirus, they are dying of their chronic illnesses and/or old age.

The initial response was proper. We did not know what we were dealing with. Now we are better informed, and we should move forward to a more moderate approach, that takes into account the economic repercussions that could lead us into a depression.

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3 minutes ago, Emergent said:

The economic impact on the rest of America is a very big part of this discussion. Economic damage to people will also cause a myriad of Health problems. It's all part of the equation.

There are a lot of people who have a steady income still, weather it is retirement income or that there jobs are unaffected by the shutdown. I'm noticing that those people are more likely to expect others to take a hit, often accusing them of not caring that people are dying. There are a lot of guilt trips being laid on people.

This coronavirus it seems more virulent than influenza. Having said that, it is not wiping out huge portions of the population. It is finishing off people who are already often challenged by multiple health problems. They're not just dying of the coronavirus, they are dying of their chronic illnesses and/or old age.

The initial response was proper. We did not know what we were dealing with. Now we are better informed, and we should move forward to a more moderate approach, that takes into account the economic repercussions that could lead us into a depression.

Off topic.

A valuable topic. When the discussion of economic recovery comes up, and is based on faulty math or science, it is certainly an issue that deserves to be discussed.  In another thread about re-opening, which I did not mention, and is not part of this thread.

Thanks for respecting my request- happy to discuss your issue, which is important, in the appropriate thread.

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1 hour ago, hherrn said:

This is a seasonal respiratory disease.  In all likelihood, it will kill 60,000 people.

We deal with this sort of thing annually with influenza, it kills around 60,000 people a year.  While that is a lot of people, we don't do anything draconian.  There needs to be some kind of balance between disease prevention, and quality of life.  We make these choices all the time to create balance.  We could ban junk food, or lower (and enforce) speed limits and save 100,000 lives easily.

I have seen some variation of that logic posted here, and it is bewildering.  At first I doubted that some posters were actually nurses- it takes a certain amount of critical thinking ability and understanding of math to pass the NCLEX.  But, it looks like some are.  Though I haven't noticed any of them posting their experience in heavy Covid regions.

This is so wrong, it should not need explanation, but I will try.

For starters, comparing two things because of similar mortality to each other is a specious argument.  You could just as accurately say that, best case scenario, Covid 19 will kill as many Americans in one short season as we lost during the Viet Nam war. Oddly, nobody advocating for reducing restrictions makes that comparison.

More important- Comparing Influenza to Covid 19, or putting them next to each other for "perspective" is like comparing a light drizzle to a tsunami based on my personal experience with them.  I can go out in a light drizzle for an hour in a windbreaker, and only get a little wet.  I can wear \$800 worth of goretex for 5 minutes in a tsunami, and I will also get a little wet.

If somebody gets shot with a 9mm while wearing a body armor and only sustained a bruise, they don't then think a 9mm is pretty much like a bb gun.

Plenty of analogies- point is that if we somehow manage to keep the death rates similar, it will have been at the expense of the most massive mitigation effort in human history.

If you want to compare numbers, go with 60,000 vs 2,000,000.  Notice the extra zeros.  2,000,000 is the absolute low end of the mortality estimate of what would have happened had we treated these two respiratory viruses as similar.  I use this particular number because it was used by Trump and reported by Fox.  Seems like most experts think it is a bit low, but I think it is a fine number for comparison.

When nurses here in any way compare, conflate, juxtapose, relate or whatever these two illnesses in any way other than the respiratory component, I do wonder if they actually believe it, or if it is simply for shock value.  Either way, I wish it would act like an eject button when they post it.  I don't mean that they should be ejected from this forum.  I mean like in a cartoon, that when they hit "submit topic", they go sailing through the air.

What motivates people to mirepresent the dangers of this virus?

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3 hours ago, Emergent said:

This coronavirus it seems more virulent than influenza. Having said that, it is not wiping out huge portions of the population. It is finishing off people who are already often challenged by multiple health problems. They're not just dying of the coronavirus, they are dying of their chronic illnesses and/or old age.

People with chronic illnesses and elderly people with chronic illnesses are definitely more vulnerable to Covid-19.  While these groups are disproportionately affected, I have read of cases and deaths in young people who apparently have no health problems, and some middle aged people have died of the virus also.  I don't think it is fair or ethical to say that because some people have chronic illnesses or are elderly with chronic illnesses, that as a society we should just say:  "Well, they're dying anyway, so let's not expend any extra effort to protect them; let's just get back to work/ignore social distancing, and if these people die more quickly because of Covid-19, well, they were dying anyway."  These people value their lives also and don't necessarily experience themselves as "dying"; they are very often trying to live their lives to the full and are preoccupied with doing their best to continue to live as their life has value and meaning for them.  I don't believe as a society that we should be in the position of saying that the lives of some people are less important than others, or of ascribing value to other people's lives based on the fact that they may have health problems or may be elderly.

With much still to be learned about the virus, I can't see how we can do other than our public health experts/epidemiologists have recommended, I.e. lockdowns, social distancing, wearing masks/face coverings in public. To my knowledge Covid-19 is not known to be an infection one acquires immunity to.  So we are in the position of waiting for a vaccine to be developed.

However, I agree that the financial repercussions of the lockdowns are significant and that many people are suffering.  Financial assistance and provision of food banks for the general public who need it is very important.

Edited by Susie2310

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4 hours ago, Emergent said:

This coronavirus it seems more virulent than influenza. Having said that, it is not wiping out huge portions of the population. It is finishing off people who are already often challenged by multiple health problems. They're not just dying of the coronavirus, they are dying of their chronic illnesses and/or old age.

Taking just a moment to interject here that, as a mother of two otherwise-healthy, non-compromised 20-somethings, I believe I am appropriately worried.  Worried that should they contract this disease, a cytokine storm (the immune response that was the biggest reason young people died in the 1918 pandemic) might be the end of them now.  They get flu shots every year as a reasonable precaution.  They will happily take a vaccine for this when it becomes available.

I don't have the latest stats, but a few weeks ago there was somewhere around 900 dead people who were younger than 50 and did not have comorbids.  Pretty sure for them, death came WAY too early.

Edited by Waiting for Retirement
typo found

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I'm going to admit that I was very ignorant when Covid-19 first became a news story.  I also thought that it was being overblown. I likened it to one of the storm warnings that never happens. I was horribly wrong.

There are lots of articles written about how comparing Covid-19 to the flu is problematic. There are numerous articles detailing why Covid-19 is different and more challenging to manage. There are first hand accounts from intensivists who have never seen anything like this in their 30-year careers. However, I don't think posting links to these things is going to change the mind of anyone who still thinks the two are alike.

I work on a covid unit in NYC. I can imagine that living somewhere less impacted by this disease makes it hard to imagine what it might be like in a hard-hit area. All I will say is that It is truly awful. I'm not going to expand on this because I won't be able to say anything new about this situation that hasn't been better said by someone else.

Maybe it's challenging to remember that the numbers associated with this disease are people. And they aren't all elderly people or young people with chronic health conditions who are dying or getting seriously ill (side note: I hate that this is used as a means to minimize the impact of this disease). It could be any of us.

I'm sure the economic devastation or social isolation of Covid-19 seems more threatening than the disease itself to people living outside of hotspots. While these things are also awful, they can become so much worse if this disease infiltrates these places.

I honestly hope that for these people, coronavirus is the storm warning that isn't as bad as its built up to be. Because it's terrifying to find yourself in a hurricane.

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juniper222 has 2 years experience.

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See the Kern county thread. There are doctors who disagree.

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llg has 43 years experience as a PhD, RN and specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

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8 hours ago, hherrn said:

This is a seasonal respiratory disease.  In all likelihood, it will kill 60,000 people.

1. It has already killed more than 60,000 people in the US -- and we are not nearly done yet.   I just looked up the number on one of the news networks and the official total is over 50,000.   That number is not counting the deaths in January and early February that were very likely due to COVID-19, but that were never tested.   Also, that doesn't count most deaths in long-term care facilities.   So, it is pretty safe to say that your 60,000 will turn out to be far, far below the actual total.   If you are going to try to make the argument, at least get your starting facts right.

2.  There is an old saying that has moral relevance now -- and I am paraphrasing it.   "A society is judged by how it treats its most vulnerable people."

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AutumnLeaves has 36 years experience as a MSN, RN, NP and specializes in acute care, icu, surgery, vasc.surgery,trauma.

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4 hours ago, Waiting for Retirement said:

It is finishing off people who are already often challenged by multiple health problems. They're not just dying of the coronavirus, they are dying of their chronic illnesses and/or old age.

I am 63 years old.I have a clotting disorder,controlled afib and am obese.I have been a nurse for nearly 40 years,I have decades of critical care experience.I work  full time. I am so glad to know that I am so expendable,as  apparently all of the chronically ill or elderly are.