By Ismael Amigo I Published: July 28, 2020
We mean, the anxiety among us Filipinos and, perhaps, the world, courtesy of COVID-19.
Everyone is apprehensive when will he or she might contract the most dreaded disease while, at the same time, thinking hard to on how to make ends meet in the pandemic.
I’ve read United Kingdom’s Daily Mail regarding a nurse who took her life after simply “feeling” that she’s got the virus. Mixed with paranoia and anxiety, she just finished it all. She took her own life.
To some extent, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases could be on the right track as it proposed giving psychological briefing among locally stranded individuals to help them cope with anxiety.
But the question is: do we really have to entertain our anxiety over COVID-19?
The Numbers, Please
At present, PH has a total of 76,444 caseloads of COVID-19 cases, including 24,502 recoveries and 1,879 deaths as of 5 p.m., last Friday, July 24.
Don’t forget the actual, active cases that PH has was only 50,063.
We had less than 2,000 fatalities that had been totally eclipsed by the big number of recoveries or survivors.
This simply means that we could be dwelling on an unfounded worrying matrix over an unpleasant psychological term called anxiety.
Death vs Recovery
If we have to divide the number of COVID-related deaths of 1,879 to the number of days (150) since the outbreak began in the country last March, quotient would be a dismal 12.5 percent fatality rate.
Again, if we have to divide the number of recoveries (24,502) to the number of days (150) since the outbreak began, we get a quotient of 163.3 percent survival rate against the disease.
No Need To Panic?
But this doesn’t mean we have to let our guards down. Prevention is still the best cure that there is.
A blogger named Nicanor Perlas says that there is no need for us Filipinos to panic over the infection numbers.
After all, the rate of death is on the downtrend.
Perlas says the number of infections is important to keep tab on but “there are significant uncertainties surrounding the accuracy of testing and the establishment of infection numbers.
“These issues lead to problematic media reporting, misguided policy decisions, and a confused, fearful public” he says.
Hope Not Fear
The IATF, DOH, UP, and us, media practitioners, and others are forgetting an important law in epidemiology, the science of epidemics: Farr’s Law,” he says.
Farr’s Law states that “the death rate is a fact; anything beyond this is an inference.
The real crucial indicator to watch is the death rate or Case Fatality Rate (CFR), not infection numbers that are inferences from faulty tests.”
Since May 15, 2020, with very minor variations due to erratic reporting, PH’s death rate has been declining for over two months. In July 24, 2020, for instance, we only had 15.
And with it, we all should be hopeful, not fearful.