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Steven Padget

Oh my. When is enough snark enough? I was recently pushed over my limit by Hal Bidlack’s “Risky Freedom?” column Oct. 29  just another in a long train of articles that talk about supposed “following the science” tropes about COVID-19 “deniers,” in one form or another. I imagine that most of these people don’t have a science degree or failed high school science classes spectacularly. But I digress.

First, let’s state some facts:

  • The CDC reports that an estimated 120 million Americans have contracted COVID-19. They estimate, with a 95% estimate of uncertainty, that only 1 in 4.2 COVID-19 cases were reported.  That figure was current as of May 31. CDC data here.
  • Johns Hopkins University & Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center reports as of Oct. 31 that there were 45,953,186 confirmed cases and 745,668 deaths in the U.S. 
  • Recall that U.S. newspapers in mid-September were reporting that there were now 675,000 deaths due to COVID-19 in the U.S.  So, the above numbers from JHU appear reasonable. As an aside, there were approximately 620,000 deaths during the Civil War  equivalent to 6 million people today!
  • Using the CDC’s estimates, we can then reasonably further estimate that the number of actual COVID-19 cases in the U.S. now stands at 193,003,381 cases. If one does not like that, then round 4.2 down to 4, and the number of actual cases is 183,812,744. As of the time I type this, the U.S. population is 332,891,293. That means that 55% of Americans have had COVID-19. Think about that for a minute.
  • More importantly, it also means that the actual COVID-19 case fatality rate (CFR) is 0.41%. If you don’t like these numbers, then go back and use the above CDC numbers as of May 31, and you will find that the CFR then was 0.64%. 
  • Does this make sense? Yes. Since January 2021, when the vaccines were rolled out, 58.2% of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated, and 66.9% have received at least one dose. Those are Mayo Clinic numbers as of Oct. 30.  Since we know with certainty that being vaccinated hugely reduces the severity of symptoms and possibility of death if you become a COVID-19 breakthrough case, then observing a reduction in the case fatality rate makes sense.

While many people can and do argue that COVID-19 deaths have been over-reported (and yes, I am one of them), I have gone with official numbers from well respected sources well, mostly respected, as the CDC has had some wild rides with public trust, but I digress.

Now, let’s look at some reasons why someone might not want to get vaccinated:

  • Pregnant women the vaccines were never tested on pregnant women.
  • People who have already had COVID-19 it has been widely reported that reaction to the vaccine could be detrimental, and science research points to the definite reality that natural immunity trumps vaccine immunity. So, why would you need the vaccine if you have already had COVID?
  • People with a religious reason you might not agree with it, but who are you to decide someone else’s belief system?

And some people don’t trust the depth and breadth of COVID-19 testing trials before it was put upon the public. Here is a primer on the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine trials, and it will give some people a reason to take pause on them.

Now, let’s look at some not-so-nice numbers regarding the COVID-19 vaccines:

  • Over 17,000 deaths due to the shot.
  • 800,000 reported injured.
  • Over 83,000 hospitalizations, with more than 18,000 of them with life-threatening illnesses.
  • Over 26,000 permanently disabled.

These numbers are provided by the U.S. government and CDC through the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).

Ad hominem attacks about non-vaccinated people trying “to kill me” or putting others at risk is just as ridiculous as in the early days of this now largely-ended pandemic when people implored “if it only saves one life.” Government policy should never be made concerning the life of one person, for obvious reasons.  But I digress.

Unless you have been hiding in your basement, it is clear and convincing to me that the mainstream media has been using fear porn to strike at our sensibilities and to report items out of context regarding COVID-19. Since we now have arrived at the point where both vaccinated and unvaccinated people have the same odds of catching and or transmitting the COVID-19 Delta variant, and given that the COVID-19 case fatality rate is well under 1%, I can reasonably understand why some people are refusing the vaccine. Get over it.

Steven Padget, of Broomfield, is a retired U.S. Navy officer and pilot who also flew for eight years as an emergency medical services helicopter pilot for North Colorado Med Evac. He holds a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering, an M.S. in systems technology and a secondary mathematics teaching license.

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