Flat White

Coronavirus: you don’t even need to catch it to become a fatality

16 March 2020

4:45 PM

16 March 2020

4:45 PM

If you spend a little bit of time on Twitter or Facebook pages discussing the coronavirus outbreak, you are soon greeted with the argument that the case fatality rate for those under 50 is extremely low compared with the headline number from the WHO of 3.4 per cent.

But this is an extremely narrow-minded viewpoint of the health system.


Every hospital bed that is taken up by a coronavirus patient is one less bed available for a cancer patient or car accident victim.

In Lombardy, in Northern Italy, roughly 80 per cent of all hospital beds are currently occupied by patients sick with coronavirus, with 1 in every 10 coronavirus patients in the region requiring a bed in an intensive care ward.

Despite the shortsighted claims to the contrary, the coronavirus is already killing younger people and otherwise healthy accident victims as we speak as the resources of the medical system are consumed saving the lives of coronavirus patients.

We may never know the true death toll coronavirus has wrought on those who never contracted the virus as health systems around the world are driven past their breaking point, but as the weeks and months pass one thing is sure — it will be startlingly high.

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