How scared should we be of coronavirus?

Coronavirus: How scared should we be?

5/24/2020 3:40:00 AM

Coronavirus: How scared should we be?

As lockdown restrictions begin to be eased across the UK, understanding risk will be crucial.

A deadly pathogen we cannot spot, and then when it hits, we cannot treat.It is unsurprising, therefore, that many people are fearful of going out, returning life to normal or even letting children go back to school.People want to be safe. But the problem is we are no longer as safe as we once were.

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There is, after all, a new virus around that can have catastrophic consequences.The need to balance competing risksSo what should we do? Some have argued restrictions need to continue until safety can be guaranteed. But those arguments generally ignore the fact that continuing to do so carries risk in itself.

UK chief medical adviser Prof Chris Witty often describes these as the"indirect costs" of the pandemic. They include everything from poor access to healthcare for other conditions through to rises in mental illness, financial hardship and damage to education.

So as restrictions ease, society and individuals themselves are going to have to make decisions based on balancing competing sets of risks.Why you should not expect to be 100% safeProf Devi Sridhar, chair of global public health at Edinburgh University, says the question we should be asking is whether we are"safe enough".

"There will never be no risk. In a world where Covid-19 remains present in the community it's about how we reduce that risk, just as we do with other kinds of daily dangers, like driving and cycling."Image copyrightGetty ImagesShe was referring to the row over schools, but the concept can equally be applied to many other scenarios.

She says part of that equation depends on the steps taken by government on things such as social distancing, the provision of protective equipment and the availability of testing and then tracing of contacts to contain local outbreaks. She has been critical of the way the government has handled all of them.

How much risk do individuals face?But as more freedoms are returned, the role of individual decision-making will come more to the fore.It is perhaps not about finding the right option, rather finding the least worst option.Statistician Prof Sir David Spiegelhalter, an expert in risk from Cambridge University and government adviser, says it has, in effect, become a game of"risk management" - and because of that we need to get a handle on the magnitude of risk we face.

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There are two factors that influence the risk we face from coronavirus - our risk of becoming infected and, once infected, our risk of dying or becoming seriously ill.If we are not in hospital or a care home our best guide to the risk of infection comes from the government's surveillance programme run by the Office for National Statistics.

The data published this week suggests around one in 400 people is currently infected.The chances of coming into close contact with one of those individuals - certainly as we are practising social distancing even when out and about - is considered to be pretty slim. And the hope is that level of infection will reduce even further in time if the government's test, track and trace programme keeps the virus suppressed.

Then if we do become infected, the fact remains that for most people, coronavirus is a mild-to-moderate illness - only one in 20 people who shows symptoms is believed to need hospital treatment.How to quantify your risk?Those with pre-existing health conditions are most at risk. Deaths among under-65s with no illnesses are"remarkably uncommon", research shows.

Perhaps the easiest way is to ask yourself to what extent you are worried about the thought of dying in the next 12 months.What is remarkable about coronavirus is that if we are infected our chances of dying seems to mirror our chance of dying anyway over the next year, certainly once we pass the age of 20.

For example, an average person aged 40 has around a one-in-1,000 risk of not making it to their next birthday and an almost identical risk of not surviving a coronavirus infection.And that is the average risk - for most individuals the risk is actually lower than that as most of the risk is held by those who are in poor health in each age group.

So coronavirus is, in effect, taking any frailties and amplifying them. It is like packing an extra year's worth of risk into a short period of time.If your risk of dying was very low in the first place, it still remains very low.As for children, the risk of dying from other things - cancer and accidents are the biggest cause of fatalities - is greater than their chance of dying if they are infected with coronavirus.

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During the pandemic so far three under 15s have died. That compares to around 50 killed in road accidents every year.Identifying those at riskSo what seems crucial as we all try to balance risks is identifying those at significant risk of serious illness from coronavirus - whether we fall into one of those groups ourselves or have close contact with someone who does.

Currently the government is asking 2.5 million people to completely isolate themselves. This includes people who have had organ transplants, are having cancer treatment and those with severe respiratory disease.On top of those, there are more than 10 million people who fall into higher risk groups. These include all the over-70s and people with health conditions ranging from diabetes to heart conditions.

Prof Sarah Harper, an expert in ageing at the University of Oxford, has argued the"blanket and arbitrary use of age" needs looking at as the actual level of risk within this higher risk group varies enormously.Ahas attempted to tease out some of the differences in risk.

Read more: BBC News (UK) »

Oh i'm absolutely fucking shitting myself, no thanks to bills broadcasting company Once again the BBC is trying to make people more scared by this headline 😡😡 Its the Media who are making people scared with headlines like this 😠😠 Depends on your age and condition of your health. Vast majority of people have nothing to worry about.

How scared would you like us to be? I’m more scared of what’s to comes after, recession, massive job losses etc, people need to start getting back to work, school etc ASAP, otherwise the aftermath will kill more than the coronavirus After tens of thousands of deaths... What even is this headline? 🤦🏻‍♀️

Not scared at all. More scared of mismanagement by all too wise, but dreadfully inexperienced, persons. If we knew a true count of people that had died from it not very because it's not counting people that died of flu and other illnesses putting them all down has covid This is from NickTriggle, apparently unedited, who has repeated the same lie for over two months: “What is remarkable about coronavirus is that if we are infected our chances of dying seems to mirror our chance of dying anyway over the next year” This isn’t statistically valid.

If you’ve watched a family member or friend get it, and saw how horrific it is, then you’ll have a reason to be scared. Everyone else has no need to be scared, why would they be, it’s the UK, ‘we do fings are way!’ Depends how much the press including the British bullshit society make them I guess On a sale of 1-10 ..about 7 !! But as ever subject to age, health, weight etc.

Not at all if we wish to persevere. The BBC like most mainstream have been involved with the government to scare the life out of people to make them stay at home. Saying anyone going out is killing other people. Now just like the government they are trying to get kids back to school and people to work.

I've more chance of dying by being hit by a bus than this virus..So that'd be a big fat ZERO Not very, according to Cummings According to the media - very... according to reality - not. at. all. move on, next story! It's the complete incompetence & untruths of the govnt people should be scared of, rather than a virus which other countries worldwide have dealt with well. Make no mistakes, it's the government responsible for so many unnecessary deaths

“How scared should we be?” What sort of bloody stupid question is that? This is the kind of dogshit journalism I sincerely hope the BBC gets pulled up on when this is over. I despair at what I see in the content of BBC “News” now. Not very Not as scared as having a job in the private sector right now. How scared should we be of hyped news.

Not, unless you’re 80.. How scared reading the BBC .. VERY .. reality .. not at all !! Why have governments and the WHO got the world scared to death and via TV broadcasts daily spread fear and panic why are the so determined to destroy people’s lives and jobs many things kill some more than corona why not fight deaths from them

I'm bloody more scared of the daily government figures and the media than the virus itself 💁‍♀️ It's harmless, so not scared at all!!!!! Not as scared as you should be of this government That’s really very important to take a look to tris article. However, there are still a lot of people in some many places, to whom virus doesn’t really exist and therefore, don’t really care

Coronavirus the biggest fear we should have is how easy it was for the Govt & Media to corrupt the minds of the majority. Scaring people into thinking the risk of catching Covid & dying from it was far greater than the reality was. According to BBC we should be petrified Is it more scared than Cummings is of looking after his own wean?

Simple. For those with anxiety a billion to one scared This type of reporting does not help 😡😡😡😠😡😡😡😡😡😡😡 The 1 in 20 is a scary figure, because people naturally assume it means them, but that is skewed by the fact we have so many old people in this country. Splitting the chances and showing the mortality of the different age groups would give people a much better understanding

Better question: Who hired the idiot that decided to pose this question? This is a very disappointing, click-bait headline from a service that was once the envy of the world. A more responsible headline would have been something like, 'We are in this together. Don't be scared. Be careful.' We shouldn’t. The dissemination of fear is a means of controlling the nation, now cowering and servile.

Extremely Keep Social Distance and Wear any protection until d vaccines is available. It's not how scared you should be, it's how much common sense you should have in order to prevent spreading coronavirus in the first place. More worried about my parents rather than myself. What virus I'm not scared for myself but am scared for others who must be frightened aa hell in their old age and anyone who doesn't understand that doesn't deserve to live in a civil society..and the excuse of I'm only looking after my family has got out of hand..what about other people.

Not really. This lockdown is starting to feel more like a social experiment Cautious, not scared. Take care UK 'fear is a weapon of mass destruction' Faithless How scared do you want us to be is the question. EMERGENCY IN INDIA REPUBLIC / 4 wheeler vehicles ARE A MUST to almost all the HOUSEHOLD S ? we HAVE known after 5000 years of INDIAN CIVILIZATION that RAPING & prostitutes making of beautiful ladies has been the MAIN WAR since ages & it is same for other WORLDS ? UM* CBI * AUD*&*

Hardly at all. Get back to work and get on with your lives. The truth about all this will come out in time and when it does you're going to be mightily pissed off! 65k dead so far scared? No effective treatment scared? No vaccine scared? No telling if you'll have barely any symptoms if you catch it or wind up on a ventilator or dead scared? What a stupid article. Did the Tories tell you to put it out to try and downplay the risks?

MASKS HELP SLOW THE SPREAD OF THE VIRUS NOT STOP IT! SO STOP FREAKING OUT EVERY TIME SOMEONE DOESN'T WEAR ONE! 'COVID-19: How much protection do face masks offer?' Scared and aware are two separate things. I'd be a lot less worried if I could see a doctor without too much trouble or there was better advice than don't or do take pain killers and take vitamin d supplements was the prevailing advice. Given the onset of completions is acute

The media and shadow government are not helping. Depends if you are one of their useless eaters or not. The BBC should be ashamed. MANY SCIENTISTS FROM STANFORD & OXFORD HAVE STATED HERD IMMUNITY IS THE BEST REMEDY! 'What Is Herd Immunity?' We shouldn’t. 'Dr. Anthony Fauci says staying closed for too long could cause ‘irreparable damage’'

NO! THERE ARE NO NEW DEVELOPMENTS! HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE REMAINS THE BEST TREATMENT DESPITE WHAT BOLD-FACED LIARS CLAIM! 'Hydroxychloroquine rated ‘most effective’ coronavirus treatment, poll of doctors finds' VERY SCARED. THIS ISN'T GOING AWAY ANY TIME SOON. PEOPLE ARE BEING LULLED INTO A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY AND IT WILL COST MANY LIVES. Social distancing at 2mtrs is a joke. An INFECTED cough hangs in the air for 4-5 mins, reaching a total distance of 4.5mtrs. 2MTRS IS HOPELESS!!

Not at all! For goodness sakes - stop pushing fear. Silly me - of course that’s what you do. How can I be scared after seeing numerous personnels at the top of hierarchy flouting the lockdown? And including myself, many people suspecting already had asymptomatic Covid before lockdown, how can we be scared We had one Covid death amongst 3700 and heard anyrhing further

The only thing to be scared about is how the government are using this as an excuse to fuck up society. 'Carson says 'about 98 percent' of people who get coronavirus will recover: 'We can't operate out of hysteria'' More scared of bad drivers. Right now we should be way more scared of the factions controlling our democracy

'Coronavirus: 81% of cases are 'mild,' study says' Old people I love drowning in my own lungs scares me! Shit, scared or shit scared, you decide. Of the virus? reasonably... of the governments incompetence during this crisis? Extremely! We're just left with nothing except empty stomach As scared as the PM’s top advisor! Seriously I’m off out in the morning to take a wee look at the bluebells. Tell Boris to take any messages & I like two sugars.

🤔they say it 98% survival for people without under Line health conditions yet we gonna have to take a vaccine This gonna be the biggest scandal in our life already unfolding and Bill Gates is behind it But the BBC like scandal don't the cough Jimmy Savile About as worried as you get for the flu🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️ A new analysis averaging all the major antibody tests indicates that the average overall fatality rate (including nursing home deaths) is 0.2%. Seasonal flu is typically around 0.1%

The UK is scared of foxes... going to be terrified of coronavirus Should we begin to start preparing to consider becoming panicked, and if so, to what degree? We don't know!! Half is manmade, half natural! But with people at beach 2' apart its Not smart So were likely in for HUGEDeathSpike in Oct/Nov.2020! Trump Ordered it $special💀💀💀💀💀💀🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 If I were Queen I would. NOT Let him set foot on My Island!!

I imagine that you'd like us to be very very scared. Right, BBC? I'm not scared of Coronavirus as such. I AM totally scared by my government's response to the pandemic though. Too little too late. I am NOT one of the herd. I will NEVER allow this government to perform their eugenics on me or mine. Scaremongering as per usual.... remember this is a government tactic “use media to increase level of personal threat”. They use media to threaten you to adhere to them. The media and government are not on our side. Always remember that.

Give me just one reason why I should be scared. So much talk about Dom cummings but we let tom, dick and harry in through our airports , pritipatel cannot get to grips with immigrants crossing the channel, You don’t need to tell us how scared we should be, we can bloody well think for ourselves. The media now and never will care for our needs. The media is not on outside. Don’t let the Cummings story distract you from the real news.

More scared of the damage the media is doing I'm 62 and fairly fit. I'm mildly concerned. However I'm following the rules coz many are older than me and have underlying conditions. Thats why l only go out when necessary. I'd be far more scared of the Boris government than the COVID threat, but that's easy to say because I'm not in the UK.

0 Not as scared as people who believe the bs that comes from the bbc Let's keep a safe distance from our loved ones so we can celebrate next Eid together We r all Responsible Heroes saving humanity ensure that we stay at home Its time to remember whats really important Be thankful to Allah & savor every ounce of happiness EidUlFitrMubarak

Terrified according to your coverage throughout this event, as all you’ve done is doomed and gloomed it and never reported on anything positive. not scared at all All is well.. get back to work.. Run to Durham. Tbh at the mo I think we're more scared of the government. Actually, not at all. Not very. Next question

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