In February 2020, Dr. Anthony Fauci, leading US epidemiologist, estimated the new coronavirus would kill about 0.1% of infected people, i.e. slightly more than the normal flu.
In March, the US Congress was informed that the estimated deaths from COVID would be ten times higher than for seasonal influenza, that 1% of the infected population would die. In the US 3 million, and 70million COVID deaths worldwide, were predicted. Experts from Imperial College London estimated 500 000 UK deaths. Leaders panicked, locked their borders, and imposed draconic restrictions on their people and businesses.
Thus far, the UK has had slightly more than 40 000 COVID deaths, the US about 200 000. Which is barely above the 0.1% predicted by Dr. Fauci, and, significantly, ten times less than the 1% mortality prediction on which the lockdown was based.
What went wrong?
Some may argue if it were not for the lockdown, COVID deaths would have been many times more. From the start, lockdowns were imposed to delay the rate of infections so hospitals could cope. This has happened. And of all the infections reported only about 0.1% have died – as Dr. Fauci predicted – a bit more than the normal flu would have caused.
The lockdown may have saved a few lives. But, probably, caused more deaths due to stupid rules made by panicky politicians. Children with little risk were protected while isolated old age homes became COVID incubators. What about the heart attack and stroke victims that could have been saved, the cancer treatments put on hold, starvation deaths and lost education? Why are the hospitals empty, the streets abandoned, millions jobless, millions more in fear of their livelihoods?
All due to a pandemic little more dangerous than the seasonal flu. Much less dangerous than Tuberculosis that kills 63 000 in SA every year. Our total COVID deaths may not exceed 20 000.
Our government had no choice but to, sooner than expected, open our borders and to abandon most COVID restrictions. Sadly, after the pandemic has passed, our president proudly declared on TV: “We are ready to increase Covid testing.” Increased testing will show a spike in infections, inevitably. May God give them wisdom to not justify their folly by returning to level 2. Otherwise, South Africa will soon be the begging bowl of Africa.
After this, we all will be poorer, hopefully wiser. At least, we have a good story to tell our grandchildren someday.
For now, stay safe, sanitize, and wear your mask – it is what our government tells us to do.