My Crackpot Theory Of The Corona Virus (COVID-19)

What if the Corona Virus has been with us for many years, but no one noticed because it was lost among the normal flue type attacks that the world experiences each year? In other words this whole pandemic thing may be more of a statistical anomaly than a sudden plague. Not to say that the Corona Virus is not real or deadly, but rather that its identification and media attention has caused it to appear to be some NEW apocalyptic terror that has descended upon the world, when such may definitely not the case.

Please bear with me here. Notice that as tests are being applied worldwide how the Corona Virus has suddenly popped up all around the globe, from China to Italy to the United States and even in the high mountains of Tibet. And so, is this really a virus spreading like wildfire, or is it rather because a method for detecting a specific sort of virus has been developed capable of separating the Corona Virus from other run-of-the-mill influenza type viruses that is uncovering it like crazy?

Let’s look inside the statistics (oh boy) for a sense of reality. There are roughly 330 million Americans of which it has been estimated, depending on the exact year, the CDC estimates that influenza has resulted in between 9 million — 45 million illnesses, between 140,000–810,000 hospitalizations and between 12,000–61,000 deaths annually since 2010.

Therefore let’s say in an average year, based on these statistics, that of the 30 million folks who may acquire the disease 35,000 die of it. That would be .01% of Americans. Suppose that what we currently know as Corona Virus is by far the worst killer among all of the various strains of flu type viruses, and taking a wild shot in the dark, let’s assume that the super bad Corona Virus causes 80% of total flu deaths. That would mean that the Corona Virus has been by sucha measure inflicting 28,000 deaths per year on Americans. Right now (3–20–20) officials are only claiming so far 200 Corona Virus deaths, which is not a particularly high number of flu deaths for this time of year.

Of course there is obviously likely to be lots of sloop within the foundation numbers used in my calculation. But in any even, if I’m reasonably correct, the number of COVID-19 induced deaths should not much exceed the average number of deaths per year for the flu, and very likely far less so.

Well, you say, what about these super hot spot concentrations being reported? The short answer is that when no one was looking for hot spots, no one saw them. It has always been assumed that deaths from flu would be concentrated among the elderly and the physically compromised, with nursing homes being ground zero, and so is with the Corona Virus. Only now the recently discovered virus has been placed under its own very special public microscope, causing a mad dash as never before to wall it off from the general public.

Perhaps the real tragedy with all of this, besides the pain and suffering of the sick and dying and the stress upon their families of the afficted, is that we are throwing our economy into the dumpster over a situation we have long accepted as normal before the detection of the Corona Virus — you, know, the plain old flu.

The good part is that possibly we have detected the worst killer among the flu type viruses, and hopefully in reasonably quick time we’ll find a vaccine, putting the worst of these sorts of bugs pretty much out of business.

Since China was the first country to identify the Corona Virus as something special among viruses, they might have already figured out by this time that there is, indeed, no new type of pandemic sweeping the world. Therefore, while they search for a vaccine, they are sending their workers back into the factories (with extra care) just as we, alas, scatter our own economy to the wind.

And if one wishes to go down the deepest of rabbit holes, one might speculate that China deliberately decided to cash in on their discovery of the Corona Virus by hyping it as a deadly new pandemic in order to panic crash the western economies, just enough mind you, to put themselves in the driver’s seat.

Yes, some day we may look back upon this time as the Wuhan hoax, in which case President Trump will have reversed his position on the seriousness of the situation a half dozen times according to his latest take on how it will effect his political circumstances of the moment.

But in the meantime, generally speaking, political leaders and epidemiologists will all have no choice but to approach the Corona Virus situation, for at least the next three to six months, as if it were a potential 1918 “Spanish” flu pandemic, an outbreak that killed some 50 million or more humans at a time when the world’s population was way smaller.

The 1918 outbreak was, moreover, an event for which both the news media and America’s politicians remained eerily silent, obviously not so this time. In fact if my theory holds any water at all, the opposite may be the problem — mass media induced hysteria that will be difficult to dampen down.

Yes, this theory may turn out to be a load of Trumpian style nonsense. But we all ought to hope my premise is true, and thus there is no flu type outbreak beyond the normal contagion — while waiting for a vaccine to be perfected, which my friends is bad enough.


Jim Ridgway, Jr. military writer — author of the American Civil War classic, “Apprentice Killers: The War of Lincoln and Davis.” Christmas gift, yes!

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James M. Ridgway, Jr.

Jim Ridgway, Jr. military writer — author of the American Civil War classic, “Apprentice Killers: The War of Lincoln and Davis.” Christmas gift, yes!