The national statistics and CDC summary descriptions make it plain that this virus preys on the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions. Young people are largely unaffected or only mildly so. Symptoms, if any, in the young consist of a mild fever for five days or so, possibly accompanied by a brief cough towards the end of the illness.
In the 20-30 yrs age group which makes up the bulk of any ship’s crew, the death rate is near zero and hospitalization rate is extremely low. In fact, far and away the most likely result of infection in that age group is … nothing. No symptoms. For example, the carrier Roosevelt, which has been hit hard with infections has noted very little impact despite the since-fired Captain’s impassioned plea for help – as if he were facing an Ebola outbreak or the plague.
As reported in a 13-Apr USNI News article, the Navy has tested 92 percent of the sailors assigned to Roosevelt and discovered 585 positive cases of the virus. …
Infections on Roosevelt account for 63 percent of the Navy’s 929 active duty COVID-19 cases. Of the sailors who have tested positive, almost 70 percent have been asymptomatic, a Navy official told USNI News … [emphasis added] (1)
Of those infected and showing symptoms, four have been hospitalized and one has died.
… four Roosevelt sailors were hospitalized over the weekend.
“All are in stable condition, none are in ICU or on ventilators,” a Navy official told USNI News. (1)
The sailor who died was 41 yrs old.(2) His pre-infection medical condition was not revealed but the description of his case strongly suggests an underlying condition.
This entire Coronavirus pandemic has been a media-induced panicked over reaction that was simply not warranted by the facts of the illness. The cure has been far worse than the illness.
This is not to say that the virus is harmless. For the elderly and medically challenged it is quite serious – but so is the common cold and the regular flu. Did you know that around 24,000 people die every year from the regular flu, according to CDC statistics, and yet we don’t shut the country down every year during flu season?
In total, the CDC estimates that up to 42.9 million people got sick during the 2018-2019 flu season, 647,000 people were hospitalized and 61,200 died. That’s fairly on par with a typical season, and well below the CDC’s 2017-2018 estimates of 48.8 million illnesses, 959,000 hospitalizations and 79,400 deaths. (3)
A more reasonable approach to dealing with the virus would have been targeted isolation efforts aimed at the high risk groups while the younger groups continued to work and hold the economy together.
Similarly, the Navy should continue operations as normal with the targeted precautions for the older members.
(1)USNI News website, “Carrier Roosevelt Sailor Dies from COVID-19, 4 Sailors Hospitalized”, Sam LaGrone, 13-Apr-2020,https://news.usni.org/2020/04/13/carrier-roosevelt-sailor-dies-from-covid-19-complications
(2)USNI News website, “Navy Identifies Carrier Roosevelt Sailor Who Died from COVID-19”, Sam LaGrone, 13-Apr-2020,https://news.usni.org/2020/04/16/navy-identifies-carrier-roosevelt-sailor-who-died-from-covid-19