LATEST NOT-AS-BAD NEWS SUMMARY OF THE COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS GLOBAL PANDEMIC: (updated 4-6-20)
- You are more than 99% UNLIKELY to be infected by the COVID-19 Coronavirus.
- So far, you have been 3.25 times MORE likely to be struck by lightning, 4.8 times MORE likely to die from drowning, and 36.5 times MORE likely to be bitten by a poisonous snake this year than to die from the COVID-19 Coronavirus.
- It would take 78 million people to be infected by the COVID-19 Coronavirus to equal 1% of the world’s population. With the number of infected just over 1.3 million worldwide, even the direst doomsday worst case scenario predictions are well below 1% of the world’s population getting infected.
- Based on today’s worldwide numbers, there is a 99.9053346%% chance that you will NOT die from the COVID-19 Coronavirus.
- There ARE currently larger life-threatening global issues of pandemic proportions which are both “curable,” and preventable.
- The current statistics don’t support the level of hysteria surrounding the COVID-19 Coronavirus Global Pandemic that sensationalized and relentless attention has created.
Every day I receive a global “COVID-19 Numbers” report, whether I want to or not. (Really, “not.”) The odd source of this daily Coronavirus Global Pandemic update is my stock market news channel. Which only serves to remind me that in the dispassionate world of the stock market, everything is just about the numbers.
So I glanced at the numbers this morning, thoughtfully included in the headline of the daily doomsday email, which eliminated the chance for me to ignore them. Today’s Cornavirus statistics did seem dire indeed…
–> 1.33 million cases diagnosed worldwide
–> 73,839 deaths
That’s a LOT of people. Anyone can look at those huge numbers and find a 1,403,839 reasons to be fearful, stressed, worried, and even panicked. Who wouldn’t lose sleep over numbers like that?
(Picture me raising my hand from a socially acceptable distance away.)
Since the numbers find a way to invade my consciousness every day, I decided to get a reality check about just how fearful I should feel after unwittingly digesting these daily bad news updates.
A “million” of anything is a quantity that 94% of the world’s population can only imagine. (Currently .6% of the world’s population are millionaires, so they can count their money to get a good sense of a million.) To most everybody, a million of anything is SO MUCH. And, of course, now that there is MORE than a million people infected by the COVID-19 Coronavirus, we can all legitimately put an “s” on the end and say “millionS of people are now victims. The extra “S” at the end seems to make it significantly more frightening.
Being a math lover, I consulted the trusty calculator that we all have programmed into our phone. This is what my calculator told me….
- 7.8 billion– total # of people in the world
- 1.33 million – total # of people diagnosed with the COVID-19 Coronavirus
- .017% – total % of the world’s population currently infected
LESS THAN 1%
Yes. The math is correct. Not even 2/100 of 1% of the world’s population have been identified to be COVID-19 Coronavirus infected WORLDWIDE.
WHICH MEANS… if you are NOT one of those infected now, you are among the 99.983% of the world’s population who is NOT infected by the COVID-19 Coronavirus. Since this Global Pandemic has hijacked our lives, attention, and emotional stability of the entire planet, I think this is a number which deserves to be repeated…
According to today’s WORLDWIDE numbers, 99.983% of the world’s population is NOT infected by the COVID-19 Coronavirus.
And if you’re happy with that thought, then you might like this not-as-bad news too…
- 1.33 million – total # of people identified as being infected
- 73,839 – total # of people who have died WORLDWIDE from the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic
- 5.55% – total % of people who will die after contracting the COVID-19 Coronavirus
And to take the math a little bit farther, according to today’s (4/6/20) WORLDWIDE numbers…
There is a 99.9053346% chance that you will NOT die from the COVID-19 Coronavirus
What at first glance seems like horrible daily updates in my e-mail inbox ends up having a positive aspect because it motivates me to figure out that the current day statistics don’t really support the COVID-19 Coronavirus hysteria.
Will the REAL Global Pandemic please stand up?
As long as we’re currently globally focused, it might be a good idea to put this bizarre moment in human history into a larger perspective. Currently on Planet Earth…
- An average of 150,000 people die every day from a wide variety of causes. (That means more than twice as many people die EVERY DAY than the TOTAL number who have died from the COVID-19 Coronavirus over a 3-month period.)
- 9.1 million people died of starvation worldwide last year. (That’s 123 times as many as have died from the COVID Coronavirus.)
- Roughly 400,000 people died as a result of homicide worldwide last year. (That’s 5.42 times as many as have died from the COVID-19 Coronavirus so far.)
- 6.5 million deaths worldwide each year are linked to household and ambient air pollution. (That means you are 88 times more likely to die from a pollution-related condition this year than the COVID-19 Coronavirus.)
- Every 20 seconds someone in the world dies from Type II diabetes. (That’s 5.7 times faster than the COVID-19 Coronavirus death rate.)
- 2 billion people use a drinking water source every day that is contaminated by feces. (That’s a stunning 2.56%, according to the World Health Organization and 1,503 times more people than have contracted the COVID-19 Coronavirus.)
- 2% of the world’s population is homeless. (That’s 117 times as many as have been infected by the COVID-19 Coronavirus.)
- 9.8 million people are incarcerated around the world. (That’s 7.37 times as many as have been infected by the COVID-19 Coronavirus.)
- There’s exponentially more people who are suffering from substance addiction, child abuse, obesity, domestic violence and suicide than the number of people who will be infected by the COVID-19 Coronavirus on any given day.
- None of the planet’s maladies or dysfunctions disappear just because we’re ignoring them while we’re singularly focused on the COVID-19 Coronavirus.
Hey! The headline said this was “Not-So-Bad News.”
I bring all these statistics up not to raise anyone’s anxiety level, but to present the current state of Planet Earth from a perspective that is not so COVID-centric. When you look at ALL the numbers associated with ALL the world’s maladies, doesn’t it make you wonder…
Why is this COVID-19 Coronavirus Global Pandemic really getting all the attention and resources when it’s much smaller than other global crises?
The social conditions above (and many more not listed) are ongoing. The sum total of them is exponentially more devastating and destructive to individual citizens and collective societies than the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic which has captured our global attention.
And yet, have any one of us given 2/100th of our attention and energy to solutions for preventing or eliminating starvation, homelessness, violent crime, substance abuse or feces-contaminated water which will kill more people in massively greater numbers today than the COVID-19 Coronavirus?
If not, why not?
The simple (or simplistic) answer is because fear trumps everything. We’re gripped with fear about something that’s as unknown and unfamiliar as a pandemic coronavirus. We’re so very familiar with all the other “regular” pandemic conditions on Planet Earth that we’re desensitized to any or all fear associated with them. We have lulled ourselves into accepting all of our pre-existing pandemic conditions as being just part of human existence on Planet Earth.
“But… but… but.”
I’ve heard all the arguments on the doomsday side of the COVID-19 Coronavirus debate. It’s more viral. It’s more deadly. It’s more aggressive. We have no prevention. We have no cure.
If any of those objections were completely true, then there wouldn’t be 99.983% of Coronavirus-free people in the world. And if those objections were completely true, then 100% of those who contracted the COVID-19 Coronavirus would die. Our fear run amok has conjured up an apocalyptic version of an imagined reality which is simply not real.
Based on current-day reality, we can legitimately look at the current numbers and release a huge amount of the fear that is hanging over our heads like a nebulous planetary Black Plague Cloud of Terror. Living in a state of relentless anxiety will damage the very immune system that you need to keep you in the “uninfected” column of tomorrow’s statistics.
After looking at the statistics from a more positive perspective, if you’re compelled to continue arguing for reasons to keep your fear at its highest level, then you are arguing for a fight-or-flight survival anxiety that you consciously don’t want to feel. Why would anyone do that? It doesn’t make any sense to argue for a side of any debate that you don’t want to win.
It’s like we’ve all been put into some kind of pandemic trance by global social and multi-media. Current statistics tell a different story when you’re not viewing them with worst-case-scenario colored glasses. The level of fear and panic that’s being produced by the “If-You-Think-That’s-Bad-Listen-To-This” Game is spinning out of control, fueled by every doomsday voice that can find an audience.
I think today’s statistics are worth reading and digesting again.
According to today’s statistics:
–> You have more than a 99% chance that you will NOT contract the COVID-19 Coronavirus.
–>You have more than a 94% chance that you WILL survive if you do.
Those are today’s real numbers – not projected, conjectured, or extrapolated in any way. Isn’t 99% and 94% much less horrific than you’ve been imagining? You have permission to take a big deep breath and exhale with a sigh so huge that it gives you a feeling of relief at the cellular level.
BUT… What About the Future?
Have you heard the latest “worst case scenario” about the COVID-19 Coronavirus? I haven’t the vaguest idea what it is, but I bet most people reading this want to know.
We’re glued to our “news” sources and awaiting the latest recaps and future projections like it’s some kind of a global Pandemic Super Bowl sponsored by the friendly people who brought us the COVID-19 Coronavirus.We’re rooting for humanity, but we’re really not completely certain our team is going to be able to pull out the win. We can’t stop paying attention to the ongoing tidal wave of information because we’re hooked into the high drama of it all.
In short, we’ve become addicted. We can’t stop thinking about it, reading about it, talking about it, tweeting about it, and posting about it. Our appetite for all things COVID seems to be more insatiable than our appetite for restaurant food delivered to our doorsteps.
During times when our fight-or-flight survival response is triggered, an addiction to the hormones of stress can also be triggered, according to Dr. Joe Dispenza, a researcher in the fields of neuroscience, epigenetics, and quantum physics. Dispenza’s research confirms that the cocktail of hormones secreted during times of life-threatening stress – Adrenaline, Cortisol, and Norepinephrine – can become insidiously addictive to human beings. People start to crave and seek out the next COVID-19 number, the next Coronavirus news, and the next Pandemic opinion that will cause them significant emotional stress because their bodies are subconsciously craving the rush of the Hormones-of-Stress chemical cocktail. (“I’ll have a Hormones-of-Stress shaken, not stirred, on the rocks, please.”)
So, how long will we continue stressing ourselves to the max as we move towards our uncertain future?
Today’s statistics don’t support the disproportionate amount of stress that we’re shouldering now or in the future. But if you still think “worrying is the responsible thing to do,” consider one last statistic.
Eight of the Top Ten Causes of Death in the World identified by The World Health Organization are caused or exacerbated by stress. That means… Roughly 28.5 million people will die of stress-related diseases this year. And that means…
As of today, statistically you are 386 times more likely to literally stress yourself to death than you are to die from contracting the COVID-19 Coronavirus.
A Different Perspective Breaks the Addiction to the Pandemic-monium
The unemotional and logical mathematical evidence of today tells us all that we have not as much to fear about the pandemic future as much as the pandemic fear itself. Will the COVID-19 Coronavirus numbers increase? Undoubtedly so. Will they surpass the numbers of other conditions of pandemic proportion that have already been sickening and killing the world’s population? No and hell no. Nobody – and I mean NOBODY – is projecting that. (At least nobody credible.)
Am I saying that everyone in the whole wide world is wrong to be afraid of the COVID-10 Coronavirus and its effects? No.
What I’m saying is… It would be a reasonable and productive strategy for everybody to dial down the amount of stress, attention, and energy that’s being given to the Pandemic-monium and dial up the attention, creativity, and solution-oriented action that we can give to the other global conditions that are threatening our lives and our planet in massively greater pandemic proportions.
The COVID-19 Coronavirus Is Definitely Real for Those In The Middle of It
I don’t want to diminish the tragedy of the lives that have been lost, the suffering of the afflicted, or the heroic efforts being expended by medical professionals around the world. All of that is real. All of that is acknowledged. None of it is insignificant. Even one person infected, one person dead, one medical professional pushed to the brink, or one medical facility filled beyond capacity is one too many. All of that is important. None of it is forgotten.
Flattening the Curve
And, “Yes.” I do understand the importance of “flattening the curve.” Good idea. Let’s all do it. It’s a global disruption that we need and arguably one that we deserve.
Our planet is sick. Our environment is sick. Our polluted oceans and soil and air and water are sick. Our food supplies are covered with toxic chemicals and genetically modified. Our immune systems are compromised.
Perhaps we all deserve a Time Out to sit in the corner and think about the mess that we’ve collectively created on our planet either by our actions or inaction. Most importantly maybe we need to sit and think about what we’re going to do differently to clean up all the messes.
I have to admit that I am shocked whenever anybody tells me that they’re bored with their involuntary Shelter-in-Place Staycation and can’t wait for things to go “back to normal.” I think that would be very sad, indeed. Because the “normal” of our planet right now is not anywhere near as fabulous as it could be.
Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to Hide
Will you ever be able to drink a glass or bottle of water again without thinking about the 2.56% of the world’s population simultaneously drinking water tainted by poop? You can’t un-know that. Hopefully you don’t want to.
This is the time. This global crisis has the potential to become an unprecedented global awakening. “That’s their problem” isn’t a paradigm that works any more. NOTHING is “their” problem. Everything is OUR problem.
This is one planet.
It is inhabited by one race – the human race.
We share one environment.
Our daily existence is inextricably connected and interwoven.
We all only have one life, and the now moment in which to live it.
We need each other. We depend on each other. We have a responsibility to each other.
And nobody wins unless EVERYBODY wins.
A wise and wonderful teacher once told me that there is only one important question in life and that is…
“Who do I want to be?”
Who, indeed, do we all want to be when we emerge from an all-encompassing planetary disruption of our everyday lives? Do we want to be filled with gratitude to be alive with a more holistic global view and a passionate commitment to improve the planet and join forces with people instead of finding ways to separate ourselves from them? Or do we want to be the exact same person in the same routine doing the same things in the same ways as if nothing significant has just occurred in the course of human history?
The choice is yours.
The choice is now.
Barbara Farfan minored in Quantitative Analysis and Research at the University of Georgia. She is not a medical professional, a global health expert, a government official, nor an official spokesperson for any type of organization of any kind anywhere. She is full-time globetrotting International Petsitter with knowledge about statistical analysis, a calculator and an Internet connection who strongly believes that the COVID-19 Coronavirus Global Pandemic will end up being a blessing, not a curse, if enough people are committed to making it so.