Tuesday, April 7, 2020

COVID-19 + Math = Perspective

Y'all should be worried. This self-proclaimed "word girl" is doing "math numbers" for a minute. See what the coronapocalypse has done to me? Be very afraid.

Check out this website: http://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america. This site shows the COVID-19 death projections by August 4, 2020, assuming full social distancing through May 2020, for the United States. Another almost 8 weeks of social distancing? Yes, y'all, we can do that.
So this website estimates 81,766 deaths caused by COVID-19 in the United States. According to worldometers.info (however reliable that site is, though it is likely a very close estimation), the population of the United States is currently estimated at 330,552,344. Let's see how this looks when you make it all math-y:

81,766/330,552,344 = 0.000247

And if I'm able to go one step further, and put my mad 4th grade math skills to work by converting my answer from a decimal to a percentage, the result is 0.0247%. That's significantly less than 1/4 of 1%.

So if my math is correct, it tells me that significantly less than approximately 1/4 of 1% of Americans are projected to die from COVID-19.

While EVERY death is a HUGE and UNIMAGINABLE loss of someone's parent, child, grandparent, friend, neighbor, or co-worker, that number gives this entire pandemic a little bit of perspective to me.

Based on the media hype, it feels like we've been thrown into the midst of a pandemic close or equal to the most devastating pandemic ever recorded: The Spanish Flu of 1918.

Wikipedia estimates over 675,000 deaths in the United States from The Spanish Flu.

We're talking significantly less than 1/4 of 1% of Americans. We can probably agree that while the loss of 81,766 lives is incredibly devastating, it's not the same as losing 675,000+.

Even if we look at the highest point in the shaded area of uncertainty in the graph provided, we're still looking at a very small number:

136,401/330,552,344 = 0.000412

That's 0.00412%.

Y'all, I KNOW this pandemic is BAD. I know there are hotspots all over our country that are experiencing death and devastation the likes of which have never been seen before in our lifetimes.

But significantly less than 1/4 of 1%?

I guess what I'm saying is that I'm tired of living in a world overshadowed by fear, worry, and concern. Especially considering I will be 28 weeks pregnant tomorrow, and I have to take on the added anxiety that comes with bringing a new life into this world at such a chaotic time as this. But it was so nice for my non-math self to experience a tiny breath of fresh air from realizing we're talking about significantly less than 1/4 of 1% of our country's population succumbing to COVID-19.

Let's take a quick peek at the math for my home state of South Carolina, shall we?

See http://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america/south-carolina.

The site estimates 442 South Carolinians will die from COVID-19.
There are an estimated 5,210,095 people currently residing in South Carolina.

That math?

442/5,210,095 = 0.000084

That is a whopping 0.0084%.

And the worst-case scenario projections?

645/5,210,095 = 0.000123

That's 0.0123%.

I can barely even comprehend numbers this small.

You guys.

I'm not saying that COVID-19 isn't bad.

I'm not saying that the loss of lives is inconsequential.

I'm not saying there won't be a "second wave" or more that will result in a greater loss.

I'm not saying these projections are fact or reality or 100% to be expected.

I'm not saying the difficulties we all are experiencing right now should be shrugged off.

I'm saying we can be encouraged.

I'm saying we can get through this.

I'm saying we can try to look for the good in the midst of so.much.bad.

I'm saying we can get through this by the grace of God! He knows the numbers. He knows His plans. He knows when our lives will return to some semblance of normal.

We can hang in there.

We can follow the directives to keep our families safe... our neighbors safe... our communities safe... and our country safe.

I hope this has been somewhat encouraging to you!

I also want to take a moment to say that I simply do not have the words to adequately express my gratitude to the individuals across our country and across the globe working hard on the front lines -- putting their own lives at risk -- in fighting this undetectable, invisible enemy and saving countless lives. There truly are no words to properly express how much you mean to us all, and how grateful we all are for the work you are doing. God bless you and keep you safe!

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