Population Would Benefit From Opening Businesses
To The Reader’s Forum:
When the Coronavirus problem first became apparent I was terrified. New data has come out that has changed that thinking. I am concerned that in most cases, isolation may not be necessary. It may also create a bigger problem because you can’t gain immunity isolating at home.
In recent weeks studies have proven that Coronavirus antibodies are present in the population to a larger extent than originally thought. At first that seems scary. Kind of like “Wow, it is even easier to get than I thought”. Fear kicks in, and we withdraw even more.
The truth is, those individuals with antibodies are lucky! They have encountered the virus and have had little or no symptoms. They are now immune and protecting society at large. We should want large numbers who test positive for antibodies and low deaths.
Testing and seeing positives does not affect the death toll. When you start testing the population at large for antibodies then deaths become less directly related to the number of positive cases. Think about it. If you test more people you aren’t causing more deaths. You are simply unearthing more positive cases that have antibodies.
Recently the University of Southern California did a study in conjunction with Los Angeles County. The study showed that their county had several hundred thousand people who had antibodies. They were therefore infected at some point.
When the study was presented the documented number of cases in the county, via the traditional reporting system, was 13,816. The deaths were reported as 617. That was an alleged mortality rate of 4.5%. The USC study showed that rate to be erroneous. The study showed the real number of infected individuals was between 221,000 and 441,000. If you take the deaths and divide by the real number, as provided by the study, you get a mortality rate of 0.14 to 0.28%. That is a big difference when compared to 4.5%.
There are other studies coming out supporting the same or similar low death rates. In younger populations the rate is coming back even less. In fact it is near zero. In Pennsylvania 67.9% of the deaths were in nursing homes according to the Health Secretary’s briefing of the State Legislature on May 6.
At this time we know we are dealing with something similar to the flu. It now becomes necessary to shelter the vulnerable and let the population at large develop antibodies. I vote for opening businesses and discarding distancing for the general population. Families with vulnerable people and nursing homes continue to isolate for a while longer. Its not a partisan issue. It is reality.
Dr. Robert J Gatto Jr.