Edgar Beem wants to know why we’re panicking over the Covid-19 pandemic and compares the incidence of deaths attributed to it to deaths from sleeping sickness. (“Will the panic be worse than the virus?” 3/18/20)

It’s simple Mr. Beem. The Covid-19 virus is completely new to the human family. No one is immune.

Yes, the seasonal flu kills thousands, but Covid-19 has the potential to kill millions and to completely overwhelm our healthcare system and endanger the lives of many healthcare providers.

One person with the flu might infect 386 others over two months. One person with Covid-19 may infect 99,000 others, and 20,000 of those infected may need to be hospitalized, according to the The New York Times.

The percent of those who die from the seasonal flu is 1%.  “Even under optimal circumstances ….” Covid-19 may be ten times more lethal, the Times reports.

This is our new reality until enough people on earth have developed immunity or until we have a vaccine.

Mary Ann Larson
Portland