Howard Greene

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The Mortality Risk of COVID-19 is Dying Out

by Howard Greene Governments have imposed extreme policies to contain COVID-19 infections because of public perceptions that the mortality risk is high. As the collateral damage to education, careers, routine health care, and economies grows, and as infection rates decline, it is reasonable to assess to what degree the COVID-19 mortality risk justifies continued Government intervention in normal life. It goes without saying that any unnatural death is a tragedy to be avoided. Nevertheless, in a free society, individuals make decisions every day that come with mortality risk: driving at high speeds on crowded interstate highways, or rock climbing, or ignoring the onset of serious obesity. In America, Government policy should reflect population mortality costs without trying to protect every citizen from the inevitability of death. Individuals should make decisions about risky behavior based on knowledge about their personal exposure to mortality risks. Unfortunately, bad news sells better than good news, and politicians are driven to ‘do something’. As a result, the actual population cost and individual risk of dying from COVID-19 have been lost in a fog of tragic stories and fear mongering. This paper aims to cut through that fog by answering some basic questions: What is the individual risk of being infected with SARS-CoV-2?If an individual contracts COVID-19, what is his risk of dying?How does this mortality...

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April 2024
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