Let us begin this by saying that CoVid is a serious disease and it should be taken seriously if you’re at risk. Nothing in this article should be construed to mean that you shouldn’t take it seriously if you have bad lungs, are older, or have a severely compromised immune system.
Bars in Texas and Florida are being shut down again today, allegedly because of increased infection rates and the assumption that the hospitality industry is the main culprit of outbreaks. However, infection rates will continue to climb, regardless of what we do. CoVid-19 is classified as “novel” because it is new to the world, meaning that nobody—or close to nobody—on the planet has a natural immunity to the disease, meaning that everyone is going to be infected.
Despite what the media reports (and probably some of your friends) imply, getting infected is actually a good thing because it builds the antibodies that are necessary to fight off the disease. The presence of those antibodies are what determines if you’ve been infected or not. A vaccine would accomplish the same thing by allowing your body to create the antibodies needed to fight off the infection—which is why we say that everyone is going to get “infected.” A high infection rate is actually a good thing in this case, because it means the mortality rate goes down significantly.
Back in February, (before coronavirus was a huge thing) the CDC was reporting that the mortality rate was around 3%. That assumption hasn’t changed in 5 months, however, now the CDC is admitting that infection rates are probably 10x higher than they originally thought. This new information changes just about everything that we know about the coronavirus.
The CDC is somewhat behind the times on infection rates, though because—as we reported on April 27—studies conducted by Stanford and others were showing that true infection rate was between 10 and 80 times higher than originally reported. As a brief reminder, (although you should go back and read the full report) there were at least 3 studies that showed that—based on antibody tests—the infection rate was much, much higher, which would mean that the death rate was much, much lower. Ten times more infections would mean that the reported death rate (which is easy to monitor) is ten times lower than originally reported. This would place the mortality rate of CoVid around 0.3%. In addition to this, the overwhelming majority of deaths have occured in people who are over the age of 60, with the majority of those coming from people over the age of 80. Breaking that down even further, most outbreaks and deaths are stemming from nursing homes.
The service industry suffered a catastrophic loss the first time we shut everything down. In a survey at the beginning of the shutdowns, 110,000 business owners said they were unlikely to ever open again if nothing changed. $350 billion in aid for small businesses was wiped out in 13 days, with another $310 billion required a second time just to keep businesses afloat. That aid wasn’t free money, it needs to be paid back somehow.
We also can’t ignore the fact that there are other mass gatherings occuring. Most bars and restaurants have been following the rules diligently because they need to stay open. They aren’t willing to risk their cash flow for anything. The idea that infections are primarily stemming from the hospitality industry is outdated and out of touch with what has really been happening. Given the restrictions that were placed on the hospitality industry, the social unrest around the country, and the tendency of people to gather in large numbers in public spaces (like beaches), no rational person would point to bars as being the main cause of infections.
Shutting down bars and restaurants because of increased numbers of infections is pointless. People are still going to protest, they will still gather on beaches, and they will still get infected. In additon to that, the data isn’t there to back up the idea that infections are bad, in fact, the opposite is true. And if you’re worried about infection, you can follow some simple methods to avoid it. It’s time for our nation’s governors to stop accusing the hospitality industry of things that it is not responsible for.