COVID data should guide smarter policies, procedures

As our community makes important decisions about opening schools and businesses, I urge a more robust debate and thoughtful review of data. At this point, much is known.

People 65 and older, comprising 79.6% of all “deaths with COVID” through July 25, are most at risk. Those under the age of 25, comprising 0.2% of all “deaths with COVID,” are at little to no risk. Against total deaths from all causes (28,000+) and total population (103 million+), the risk to people younger than 25 is infinitesimal.

Increasing cases are not a harbinger for a massive increase in deaths. The virus is spreading, and infecting more people, and increased testing has illuminated more cases. However, the death rate has increased very little as cases have multiplied. In Indiana, average weekly deaths for July were lower than June, despite a 73% increase in cases.

There is little evidence that our efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus have been effective. The virus continues to spread in both restrictive and open environments, here in the U.S. and abroad. It is worth noting that, in a survey of all pandemics since the 1940s, WHO determined that non-medicinal efforts (masks, social distancing, etc.) had little to no impact.

The cost of our attempts to mitigate the virus will certainly be enormous once we count them. We are in possession of compelling data that can and should help us determine whether or not our efforts are worth the cost.


Chuck Kocal

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