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Letter to the Editor: Regarding ‘Dozing through disaster’

This is a response to Mr. Norman Baxter’s Aug. 19 letter, “Dozing through disaster.” He states: “Some are saying we will have 180,000 deaths (from COVID-19) by the end of the year.” 

I have read CDC reports as well as other estimates of between 180,000-200,000 by the end of September. So where will these numbers really be by the end of the year with the coming flu season and the current administration stopping the CDC’s data reporting role? How can we rely on accurate numbers? They are given in best estimates such as the case in 1957-58 where I’ve read a range of U.S. deaths caused by the Asian flu to be between 70,000-116,000 with most of those occurring to the elderly (69,800) in the second wave in early 1958. That higher number seems to be pinpointed and a more accurate figure, which Mr. Baxter reported in his article. 

Also Mr. Baxter’s percentages are comparing figures of a past virus from start to finish. COVID-19 is unfortunately not over yet. Hopefully, a vaccine is coming very soon among other therapeutics. I believe it would be best, for accuracy sake, if we compare the numbers again when this is all done with. He still may be correct with the death rate being smaller than in the 1950s. Let’s hope so.

As for him not really knowing about this virus back then. Reasons could be because there was no internet or social media to get information spread around lightning fast. Maybe it was because the bigger local news headlines during those times was all about “Ike” or since the virus infected predominately children, pregnant women and the elderly, and not the troops or young men, they did not get the message.  

Thank you for your service sir.

Matt Broderick 

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