There is a great debate going on during this Covid19 pandemic, recording statistics accurately. There are two main sides. One side is genuinely concerned about preventing further spread and saving lives. The other side is more concerned with the politics of what is happening, and it is odd really. Because politics should never determine if someone lives or dies. But when statistics get used to attack a perceived favorite representative, who literally has nothing to do with the cause of the outbreak at all, the concern turns to a number that possibly could be used against that representative, as in some possible failure to lessen the impact. And the only way to lessen the impact, is to lessen the number.
The objection, and unfounded claim, is that some deceased are being declared a casualty of the Corona Virus, even if other factors may have been involved. The argument being made is that it is not fair to declare the death to Covid19 if something else was wrong or happened. That is such a flawed claim. And here is how I will prove it.
I apologize for the extreme example, but I am not open to debate. A person is shot and killed Is the person dead because of the gunshot, the massive loss of blood, or cardiac arrest? Of course the cardiac arrest is what killed the individual, but the other issues, the blood loss, and of course, the gunshot cannot be ignored. One thing led to another and resulted in a death that should have occurred later in that person’s life.
Now, I am not saying that a person with Corona Virus that randomly gets shot and killed should be declared a death of Covid19. That is ridiculous. But does a person with the virus en route to the hospital, either on foot or in a vehicle, involved in an accident resulting in death get declared a Covid19 death? Absolutely. And here is why. If someone is that immersed with the virus, that medical help is necessary, it is likely that there is so much internal damage to the body from the virus, making sustaining or recovery impossible, especially with the virus affecting the lungs as it is known to do.
Let’s put aside the virus for a second and use a different example, as often comes up in the world of cancer survivorship. A similar argument comes up frequently as the virus cause and effect argument. Is it right to blame the health issues that we long termers deal with, on the treatments, even thirty and forty years after treatment? Is there an infinite and blanket blame? The short answer is yes. Here comes the long answer.
Prior to my Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, I was an otherwise healthy individual as far as I know. But I had my spleen removed as part of the diagnostics. That surgery has now left me immuno-compromised for the rest of my life. The loss of my spleen has caused a permanent change with how my body protects itself, BUT, it has not caused my death. Should I contract this virus, there is a likelihood that I would not survive. So would my cause of death be listed as being asplenic (no spleen) or the virus? I lost the spleen thirty-two years ago, but clearly had I had my spleen I might have been able to fight the virus better. So that is not the virus’s fault, right? It is a stupid concept. My death would be Covid19.
Another example, recognizing that the main problem with the virus, is the pneumonia that it causes. Already immuno-compromised from not having a spleen, I battled two cases of septic pneumonia within a nine-month period. My pneumonia was not caused by catching a virus. It was bacterial. You see, the radiation therapy that I went through for my Hodgkin’s, damaged my trachea and esophagus. Weakened from the damage over the years, there is a condition that traps food in the airway, which of course ends up decaying there. Called “aspiration” pneumonia, I inhale that bacteria from the trapped and decaying food into my lungs. Also, a side note, the left lobe of my lung is considered “dead” and non-functional leaving me with a diagnosis of restrictive lung disease. Not bad enough? I have unidentified spots on both my lungs, which are just being watched at this point, for the potential of being cancerous. Now, let’s say. I get Corona virus. It turns into the pneumonia. I die. Are you going to try and tell me that I did not die from Covid19 with so many other issues against me? I get by in my life in spite of my ill health.
I have another ten health issues related to my cancer history, all which leave me susceptible to the Corona Virus. But for the sake of “feeling good” and not piling on scary numbers, if I were to get this virus and die, I had enough against me to make it okay not to count?
I get it. Telling scary numbers makes our president look bad. And this post is not about armchair quarterbacking. Throughout history, we have learned all the who’s, what’s, why’s, when’s and such, after everything has passed. We learn from history so that we do not repeat it. And the only way we can have an accurate accounting, is with accurate numbers.
This is a fact. In a family of four, if one member is tested and confirmed positive, the other three members are presumed to be positive. That should mean four more in the total of positive cases. It is not. The confirmed cases of positives are based solely on those tested. So, if you have not gotten tested, you do not count in that total. As of this post, we are nearing 600,000 confirmed cases. If I am being generous by just doubling the number allowing for presumed, which without confirmation of could be or might not be, as contagious as this virus is, likely, we would be well over a million, and probably more. This makes a big deal when you compare that number to the rest of the country. What about the other 349,000,000? How do we know if they have or have not been exposed?
We are struggling to get this under control as a country. A good majority of us are doing our part, listening to the guidelines put forth by the president. When the dust is settled, and the time is appropriate to look back, there is a chance, it will not be kind. Understandable, this was the first time we are dealing with this monster. But the biggest judgement of everything, were decisions informed, ignorant, or wishful thinking? That is for a later time.
But of all the numbers that are important to report, yes, the fatalities. I am not sure if it is trolls or bots trying to spread the nonsense of what is actually a Covid19-related death or not.
Just as everything that changed about my body in 1988 with the diagnosis of my cancer, everything that has happened since, gets attributed to those physiological changes because I would not otherwise have these cardiac, pulmonary, and immunological problems if I never had my cancer.
Cause and effect. If a death was caused directly or indirectly from Covid19, no matter if there were underlying causes, it is a Covid19 death. Arguing over such a triviality in the midst of still so many fighting for their lives, or hoping to avoid getting the virus, is truly a waste of time.