uziq wrote:the problem is nobody really notices flu? huge amounts of money are spent every year developing vaccines and rolling-out immunisation programmes. lots of people notice flu. the thing is that experts are already taking care of it, dealing with it, literally each and every year in the case of fast-mutating flu. the effort and worry is exported so that you don't have to think about it.
flu is not negligible. it 'negatively impacts' a huge amount of the economy. people miss work, productivity is lost. we are offered seasonal flu jabs at my company. nurses come into the office.
flu is bad news, particularly for the elderly and weak. no mistake about it. it's just that covid-19 is not flu, not by classification or by severity. it's completely something else.
what started out as silly and superficial comparisons in week 1 of the pandemic by Fox news and the like has seemingly lodged itself in your brain as a fixed idea. really it would just be better altogether to stop comparing the thing to flu. there is no logic to it whatsoever.
Yes, the flu is background noise. Most people don't even take off work when they get it. At most, maybe a day or two. They take some over the counter medication and get on with their lives. It's not remarkable.
for working-age people, yes, you're right.
but that is the consequence of high rates of immunity to flu. our immune systems have been catching strains of flu every year and either batting them off or spending a few days in bed for most of our lives. exposure is very high. vaccinations are in place to supplement the weak and elderly.
from an immunology and public health perspective, we've had a lot of practice and preparation with flu.
flu as a virus has different characteristics, furthermore. it does not survive well in dry environments or environments with strong sunlight. therefore it's highly seasonal. it doesn't last for long on surfaces. transmission between people (that r0 factor i keep mentioning) is fairly low. flu's spread is therefore manageable. it is not highly contagious and most strains/mutations rarely develop above epidemic-scale (e.g. H1N1 in 2009).
coronavirus is a completely novel disease. i feel like i'm repeating myself here from page 20. we have no immunity built up from years of casual exposure. we have no vaccine. it is a completely different scenario. therefore please, for the love of god, stop comparing coronavirus to flu.
once again: the fact it's an upper respiratory tract infection and gives us a fever/pneumonia, does not mean it is the same beast. those are immune responses. those are symptoms. they do not describe the virus itself. once again: the death rate, transmission rate, and seasonality of flu is completely non-comparable to coronavirus.
can we draw a line under the flu thing finally?
Last edited by uziq (2020-05-06 10:18:29)