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  • Writer's pictureOzzie Paez

Assessing COVID-19 risks

I may have had, have, or may get Coronavirus. If I had it then it was so mild that I didn’t notice. Ditto if I have it now since I’m feeling fine. I may yet contract it with enough severity to land in the hospital and morgue. All of these are possibilities with different probabilities. To understand my odds and make good decisions, I needed representative data and context.

I thus obtained data on groups with likely exposure. Flight attendants (FA) were best since they travel the world, are exposed to thousands of strangers and touch countless contaminated surfaces. There are 120,000 American FAs with an average age of 46.1. All must be strong individuals in good physical health. I found that very few FAs had tested positive for Coronavirus and none were severely ill or died.

The most susceptible group is people over 70 with underlying health problems. They accounted for the most severe cases and deaths. By contrast, despite immunization, the CDC estimates 36 million US Influenza(H1N1) cases leading to 370,000 hospitalizations and 22,000 deaths, with children and young adults being the most susceptible.

I now have the information to make more thoughtful, informed decisions.

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