Numbers, numbers, numbers...

11 May 2020 | 06:29

    To the Editor:

    When they so easily closed out the school year, it highlighted exactly how little is actually taught in public school. It seems most of us have forgotten or never learned basic mathematics. Anyone with a rudimentary concept of statistics would realize something funny going on with the numbers of COVID-19 patients and its relationship to the shut down.

    Let’s take a look at Essex County numbers as an example. As of last week or so, the numbers were as follows: 5,078 cases, of which 45 percent (2,285) were over the age of 80 (yes, 45 percent!). The population of Essex county is 808,000, roughly, of which about 1 percent (8,080) is age 80+. The news reports that 20 percent of virus infections have symptoms (the report is 80 percent asymptomatic, same thing). Let’s be conservative and say 50 percent instead of 20 percent go to the hospital and get diagnosed. That would be 2,285 cases (80+) times 2 would make 4,570 (80+) infections divided by the total population 8080 (80+) would make a 57 percent infection rate. If applied over the general population that would make 460,000 people in Essex County have the virus, probably more if one factors in lifestyle of an 80+ resident sitting home most of the time should be infected theoretically less.

    So what is the point of all these numbers? You probably had or will have this disease and don’t/won’t even know it. Everyone is running around stressed out, afraid, wearing masks like it’s perpetual Halloween. Some guy even got arrested on the beach playing ball alone with his kid, no doubt thanks to a “concerned” citizen. This is not the 1918 Spanish flu. Read Wikipedia on that.

    Yes, the old and obese should be careful as they are ticking time bombs regardless of this particular virus, and that is where the focus should be next time this comes around in December, which it obviously is going to.

    Alex Wronka

    Franklin