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Comorbidities


medicalComorbidities is defined as: “…the presence of one or more additional conditions often co-occurring (that is, concomitant or concurrent with) with a primary condition.” In other words, at the time of death, was the deceased contending with more than one lethal medical condition?

Recently, the CDC published an update to their COVID-19 statistisc which said:

Table 3 shows the types of health conditions and contributing causes mentioned in conjunction with deaths involving coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). For 6% of the deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned. For deaths with conditions or causes in addition to COVID-19, on average, there were 2.6 additional conditions or causes per death. The number of deaths with each condition or cause is shown for all deaths and by age groups. 

The statement that caused a stir was the part that said, “For 6% of the deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned.” 

In other words, in 94% of the fatalities, the cause of death was something other than COVID-19. The Coronavirus was present, but it was not necessarily the cause of death. Rather, it was something akin to someone dying of a heart attack, but because they also had the Coronavirus, they were documented as a COVID-19 fatality.

The same statement goes on to say that, “For deaths with conditions or causes in addition to COVID-19, on average, there were 2.6 additional conditions or causes per death.” So, for those who are being documented as COVID-19 deaths, not only was it not the sole cause of death, in many of the cases there was more than one “morbidity.” On the average, they were contending with three potentially lethal conditions.

But regardless of how they died, they were documented as a COVID-19 death.

In 94% of the cases, COVID-19 was present, but it wasn’t the deal breaker.

Pause for effect…

This is incredibly significant, but what’s even more disconcerting is this:

Google Search for “CDC 6%”

When you click on that link you get any one of a number of websites that rush to maintain the idea that COVID-19 must be perceived as a lethal disease and that any other perspective is inevitably revealed as the result of overly simplistic thinking.

Take for example this article from Vox entitled, “Covid-19 Death Skepticism, Explained by a Cognitive Scientist.” In the article, those who read the recent CDC publication and walked away thinking that the death toll numbers have been exaggerated were not taking into consideration the way in which COVID-19, though not being the actual cause of death, is still a contributing factor in that it exacerbated the effects of the lethal disease that was already in place.

But that’s not really the point, is it?

No, the media hasn’t lied, but they haven’t been telling the whole truth. COVID-19 is lethal by itself only in rare situations. It proves to be genuinely problematic only in those scenarios where you already have one or two more terminal conditions.

Since March of this year, we’ve been treated to a non-stop parade of headlines and statistics that imply you are at risk of contracting a deadly virus, regardless of your health. The fact that you have a better chance of dying in a car wreck or the fact that there are treatments that have proven effective are consistently drowned out by the perpetual publishing of “death tolls” and “new cases.”

This is the message and the situation that justifies masks and the limitation, if not the obliteration, of businesses all over the country because it’s a pandemic and we need to be “working together.”

Not only is this is not a problem that justifies an entire population cowering in a corner, hiding behind a mask and avoiding any kind of activity that involves normal, human interaction in the context of a crowd. The real problem is that the media has been ethical only to the point of saying how many people have died. They haven’t made any attempt to quality the condition of the individuals who passed away, thus giving the impression that healthy people are at risk and the continued shut down of our nation is therefore justified.

Here’s what I think..

  • There are areas in our country that are seeing this virus affect their population in a way that requires hospitalization. Assist them, pray for them but don’t use them as situations that represent the nation as a whole.
  • Those who are risk need to take the necessary precautions and quarantine themselves, avoid crowds, wear a mask and take responsibility for their health.
  • Those who are not at risk need to get busy repairing the damage that’s been done by those who have maintained from the very beginning that normalcy is a liability. Go back to school, open your doors, take the mask off and move forward.
  • If you’re among those that are still convinced there’s reason to be concerned and you don’t want to give up your mask or your ability to work from home – provided you still have a job – I respect your concern, but I will ask that you respect my evaluation of the statistics and, again, remember that it’s not healthy people that are having a problem.
  • For those who are in decision making positions and fret over the possibility of opening things up and then someone contracting the virus and dying, ask everyone in your charge to sign a release that represents a willingness to assume responsibility for their health and not hold you or anyone else liable.

According to the CDC, of the 161,392 fatalities reported, only 9,683 actually died from COVID. Compare that to the fact in 2017, 20,000 people died from the Flu and we have a vaccine for that! If that’s the case, COVID-19 is less of a problem than the Flu and the content that’s being published in the media in an effort to better qualify CDC’s recent report isn’t being distributed for the sake of clarity…

It’s damage control.

Bottom line: COVID-19 is not a morbidity in and of itself. In 94% of the cases, it’s a comorbidity and while it’s appropriate to be sensitive to those who have one or more terminal conditions that can be worsened by COVID-19, being sensitive is not the same thing as being disengaged.



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