There are a lot of Americans who can’t seem to pull themselves out of 24/7/365 panic mode over COVID-19. They’re ready to call out the Marines on people who are fed up with masks and lockdowns and just want to get back to living their lives. Some are so paralyzed with fear of the disease that they practically refuse to leave home unless they’re wearing one of those old-fashioned deep sea diver outfits. Some critics say they’ve taken their fear of COVID beyond a reasonable health concern into the area of a religion or even a psychosis. To make it even weirder, I’m sure 100% of these people are fully vaxxed and boosted who knows how many times?
By this stage, it might be impossible to reach them with rational arguments, but if you’d like to try, here’s a good source. John Tierney at City Journal writes about a new NIH study of over 1 million vaccinated adults over the past year, including the Delta variant wave. It calculated the actual statistical odds of dying from COVID if you are vaccinated (we will assume that people with natural immunity from prior infection, especially those also vaccinated, are at even less risk.)
Nearly 700,000 healthy vaccinated people under 65 got COVID during this period. None required ICU treatment and none died. Among the vaccinated over 65 without underlying medical conditions, only one died. In all there were 36 deaths, “mostly among a small minority of older people with a multitude of comorbidities: the 3 percent of the sample that had at least four risk factors. Among everyone else, a group that included elderly people with one or two chronic conditions (and healthy, younger people, I'd add), there were just eight deaths among more than 1.2 million people, so their risk of dying was about 1 in 150,000.”
Tierney notes that those are about the same odds that you’ll die in a fire or by falling downstairs in any given year. You’re three times more likely to die while riding in a car or being hit while you’re a pedestrian. It’s also about the same odds over your lifetime that you’ll die in an earthquake or by being struck by lightning.
I hope this helps reassure some people that it’s safe to come out of their houses and stop hiding from life. But my fear is that now they’ll be terrified to come out because they might fall downstairs, get run over by a car or be struck by lightning.