March 5, 2020
Either the science is wrong and the complacent will be proven correct, or the science is correct and the complacent will be wrong.
The present disconnect between the science of Covid-19 and the status quo's complacency is truly crazy-making, as we face a binary situation: either the science is correct and all the complacent are wrong, or the science is false and all the complacent are correct that the virus is no big deal and nothing to fret about.
Complacency is ubiquitous: readers on Facebook leave comments on my posts "this is silly." Correspondents report that people don't even cover their mouths when coughing, much less use a tissue. People keep repeating like a mantra that a bad flu season kills 35,000 in the U.S. alone, and so why worry about a couple thousand deaths globally?
Another common trope is "hepatitis kills far more people in the U.S., so why worry about the coronavirus?"
So let's look at some data and consider what science can tell us about the potential consequences of the Covid-19 virus spreading as widely as conventional flu viruses.
The fallacy made by the complacent is that the number of cases will remain small (in the dozens or hundreds) and so the number of deaths will also remain small.
Since the evidence suggests the Covid-19 virus is more contagious than conventional flu viruses, a reasonable assumption is that it will eventually infect more people than a conventional flu, which according to the CDC infects up to 45 million Americans annually.