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JLeslie's avatar

Should the news still be reporting on coronavirus cases and deaths?

Asked by JLeslie (63221points) 1 month ago from iPhone

Approximately 400 people a day still die in the US from Covid19.

Would you like to know who is dying, if they were vaccinated, and how old they are? Is 400 low enough that it doesn’t matter enough to have the information in front of us all of the time? Would people actually turn the channel? Not interested.

Would you like to know how sick people are getting? How many are sick for three days, and how many for three weeks?

Do you want to know what states have a lot of cases at a given time?

Do you want to know the same regarding flu for flu season?

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52 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

^^Yeah, but a good portion of people in the US don’t read they just watch their favorite news channels.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Should they stop reporting deaths from diabetes, high blood pressure and heart attacks ?????

JLeslie's avatar

^^They don’t report deaths from cancer or heart attacks regularly. Most Americans don’t know more people die from heart attacks every year than all cancers combined. Heart attacks and cancer aren’t contagious, unless you want to count cervical cancer.

I’m most concerned with contagious disease. We could curb some of the spread and deaths if people actually knew covid is still out there, sometimes with a vengeance. I have one friend who didn’t wear a mask on her last cruise (she’s been on three the past year) and the last one she caught covid. She said she will definitely wear a mask indoors on her next cruise. She got very sick, it ruined her vacation. She was under the impression covid wasn’t a concern anymore. She doesn’t mind wearing a mask. People like her would actually take action to prevent the spread.

Same regarding flu, but about triple the people are dying from covid than flu.

Zaku's avatar

Would you like to know who is dying, if they were vaccinated, and how old they are?
– Yes.

Is 400 low enough that it doesn’t matter enough to have the information in front of us all of the time?
– Perhaps. I don’t really feel like I need to know “all the time”, but it’s good to know what it going on and what isn’t, where, etc. Personally, I like to check in at least every month, and to know if the situation changes.

Would people actually turn the channel? Not interested.
– Depends on each person, and also how they do it. I bet they could make the info pretty short, and only elaborate if/when the situation notably changes. They could also educate TV viewers what a good URL is to check the numbers themselves.

Would you like to know how sick people are getting? How many are sick for three days, and how many for three weeks?
– Yes, but this sort of info is available from web sites. As far as mainstream TV news, I stopped watching all live broadcast/cable TV about 14 years ago.

Do you want to know what states have a lot of cases at a given time?
– I have checked the stats a few times through the pandemic. If there’s a notable spike or hot spot, I’d like to know.

Do you want to know the same regarding flu for flu season?
– No. Only if there is some particularly bad strain or unusual circumstance somewhere.
– Well, I mean, I do welcome knowing when a lot of people in my local community are sick.

seawulf575's avatar

While it might be trendy to report that, do the math. 400 deaths per day is 146,000 deaths per year. We lose 282,000 to diabetes, 697,000 to heart disease, and about 130,000 to lung cancer each year in the US. We don’t make daily reports on these things, why do it for Covid?

canidmajor's avatar

Covid is still news, and still largely unknown as to various negative affects. Unlike diabetes, heart disease and lung cancer, which have all been studied at great length for decades, Covid still has lots of mysteries connected to it, and those that are not cavalier about it still find it important to know how the evolution of the virus is progressing.

seawulf575's avatar

@canidmajor I believe that viruses have been studied largely as well. We know, for instance, that they mutate again and again, come back as “variants”, are generally transferred through either touch or close proximity, and generally kill at least some people. The only difference is that Covid-19 was so politicized. So to continue harping on it is doing nothing other than being trendy.

janbb's avatar

Personally, I find it useful to keep track of the level of transmission in my area and an occasional eye on the number of deaths. We can act somewhat proactively to reduce our chances of contracting it when transmission is high and by vaccination to reduce seriousness. It doesn’t control my life like it did the first few years but for me, it is good to check the stats. Unfortunately, I have contracted it twice now in the past few months but luckily it has been a mild case each time and as yet, no apparent long Covid which is what I’m most concerned about.

As far as granular reporting on how the people were and how long they were sick, I don’t have a need to know that.

janbb's avatar

Edit: “how old the people were”

canidmajor's avatar

@seawulf575 What you disdainfully call “harping” and “trendy”, I call the appropriate dissemination of important information, for the reasons @janbb mention and others.

gondwanalon's avatar

I don’t need that information. Like I don’t need to know about all the deaths from flu or pneumonia. It’s pretty useless information to me at this late date.

However, if such death information by the coronavirus continues to be reported then the percentage of the people who die from the Coronavirus that had comorbidity should also be reported. Many old folks are so weak and feeble that they can succumb to the mildest cold infection.

The latest SARS-COV-2 virus is much weaker than it was 2 years ago. And most folks have been vaccinated and boosted. And if they haven’t been vaccinated then that’s their decision.

“The pandemic is over” -President Biden (September 19, 2022, 60 Minutes interview)

Time to move on.

jca2's avatar

If the information is available, why not publish it? In my area, they do, and will mention flu deaths. I find it helpful. A helpful reminder.

I don’t think it compares to diabetes or cancer or heart disease because those diseases are not contagious. Covid is. Flu is.

Demosthenes's avatar

I don’t see why not, but I don’t think it’s going to change anything in terms of policy or people’s general attitude toward the pandemic.

raum's avatar

Yes, I feel the data is still relevant. And it should be tracked and shared with the public.

However, I also feel like the majority of people are kind of over it unfortunately.

I find the information I need (more local than national) through websites of local agencies.

And honestly, I’m relieved that it’s less in the news cycle. Because I hear less bitching from the other side.

I’ve found that news doesn’t really inform people who don’t want to be informed.

hat's avatar

You can get updated Covid stats by typing covid stats in Google. You can select your state or view the US total stats. I’m fairly certain nobody is taking these numbers seriously, however. People are not getting tested for Covid in official facilities. They are just brushing off anything they have as a cold, or when they do test, it’s one of those home tests, which do not appear in these statistics.

Data should be available on infectious diseases. But that doesn’t mean that the data is accurate.

I’m not familiar with how television news is presenting this info. Is it still reporting the same as it did during the pandemic?

canidmajor's avatar

@hat I am not seeing it regularly reported on the television news that I watch. I would like more local reporting.

The naysayers here may want to remember that no one is forcing this information on them.
But who knows, maybe they consider reporting on the Kardashians to be of greater import, and resent time taken away from that.

seawulf575's avatar

The information is out there, it can be found with simple searches. It is likely that your local health department has information as well…and information that is far more significant to you specifically. But to make it national news? Nope….time to move on. OR…do as @gondwanalon has suggested and give ALL the story concerning the deaths or even the vaccination status. We are seeing just in this group that being vaccinated doesn’t amount to a hill of beans at keeping you from getting the disease. To just keep harping on how many cases or deaths on the news every day does nothing but continue to propagate fear.

canidmajor's avatar

Well, @seawulf575, we get that you don’t like hearing about it, so don’t hear about it. A number of us have said that it’s not on our national news, so maybe switch stations if it is annoying you so much.

seawulf575's avatar

@canidmajor Gee…I thought the question was whether we felt it should be reported on. Apparently you don’t like any opinion that is different from your own.

chefl's avatar

The news is not about what I like or not like. It’s about what is important for the public to know. It’s the responsibility of the medical field and the press to put it out there regardless how popular it is or isn’t. I should be able to find the important info without searching for it, and at some point I may come to my senses and be interested as start paying attention, take the action that I need to take.

chyna's avatar

The numbers of new covid cases and covid deaths streams on the bottom of my local news daily.

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RayaHope's avatar

I think it is still very relevant and important to know. A life is a life and the amount of death should not be a factor. It is sad and horrible what people are still going through and this will be here for a long time. I would rather here of a cure all for everyone so we can put Covid behind us for good.

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Forever_Free's avatar

In a word, YES!

smudges's avatar

I have serious doubts about the number of deaths being reported – could be much higher or lower, just undependable – so no, I don’t think it’s helpful. Basically it’s meaningless numbers to me. We know it’s still around; we know other viruses will come around, just like other diseases; we know what helps prevent us individually from getting it; and we know the numbers have been questionable since the beginning.

Entropy's avatar

I don’t know who you think is still running covid news prominently. I’d have to go to the middle of the paper to find covid stories nowadays. It’s background news.

I will say, tracking cases was ALWAYS a bad metric chosen to produce panic. Deaths is better, but also not super-useful as it’s only meaningful relative to local population. The statistics we should have been paying attention to for decision making are about hospital ICU utilization rates. That’s what tells us whether we should be thinking about adjusting our behavior. Even more so now that we’re getting pretty good at treating the disease.

If my local area is seeing a surge, sure, that’s newsworthy. But otherwise, it generally should be an article for page 10…and it mostly is.

JLeslie's avatar

@Entropy I don’t know who you think is still running covid news prominently. Who are you talking to?

Forever_Free's avatar

@smudges Yes, there will be some numbers that don’t get into the report. What matters is the trend.

smudges's avatar

@Forever_Free From the beginning into the height of the pandemic, thousands of numbers didn’t get into the reports, from wrong diagnoses, cause of death being incorrectly attributed, groups of people not wanting to contribute to the panic, groups of people wanting to contribute to the panic, gossip and hearsay, and a president who denied anything was going on.

All of those, except the last one, are reasons that I don’t really care about or believe the numbers today. 400/day could be wildly optimistic or wildly over-estimated. the CDC reports 344 deaths over the last 7 days

chyna's avatar

@smudges But if nothing is reported, people will think Covid is no longer taking lives.
I remember in the late 60’s my newspaper reported the number of deaths daily from the Vietnam War. Least we forget.

raum's avatar

@chyna I agree with your general sentiment. But those were different times. People had longer attention spans. There wasn’t rampant distrust of the media. And there was less access to information.

seawulf575's avatar

@smudges And the numbers change with the wind. I remember on one of these threads I posted directions on how to look up number of deaths attributed to the vaccines on the VAERS database. I came up with around 23,000. About 2 weeks later that was suddenly down to about 10,000. How it goes down that much that quick is a matter of speculation, but it shows how quickly the story changes.

JLeslie's avatar

Interesting answers and conversation.

1. VAERS reports are not deaths attributed to the vaccines, they are reports of deaths within a certain time frame after the vaccine is given, and then the report gets investigated.

2. It doesn’t matter if the cases and deaths regarding covid19 are completely accurate, it still is a barometer to cases going up and down and severe illness and death.

3. It’s still much more deadly than flu. It still causes more long illness (two week or more) than flu. I think it’s useful to know this and I wish we had better information on this point. I’m not talking about long haul, Not even about needing to be hospitalized, which I care about to, I wish that was easier to get broken down data, but I’m curious how many people are very such 2–3 weeks. I know a lot of people who get sick like that.

4. I also really wish the national news would do reminders for flu season and for times covid cases go up so people might take some extra precautions. I have said this about flu season for 30 years.

5. A jelly mentioned leaving it to local news, and I can understand that reasoning, although since I live in Florida I personally would like the nation to know covid spikes during the school breaks and holidays, people from everywhere holiday in Florida.

6. Out of sight pit of mind. If it is t in the news the majority of Americans think it doesn’t exist or barely. Plus, so many people were so “follow the science” and now a lot of tose people think they don’t have to worry anymore, but really some individuals still need to be worried. Guidelines are for the general public and take into consideration total health of the nation, physical, economic, and mental.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Making up stuff again wulfie . . . .

smudges's avatar

@JLeslie I agree with your #4.

Those people who followed the science previously are pretty much smart enough to follow it now and take care of themselves. The others never followed science and/or never believed it so the news isn’t going to impress them now.

canidmajor's avatar

@JLeslie Excellent assessment.

JLeslie's avatar

@smudges Actually, too many of people who “followed the science” seem unable to think for themselves. They heard the pandemic is over and went out and got sick. Not that I judge anyone who has caught covid, I don’t at all, especially not in the last year. I’m just talking about the people who are surprised they got so sick or really though it was completely safe out there just because they were vaccinated, or because their trusted people said the pandemic is over. The virus is still out there, and official numbers of cases are way way understated now that so much testing is done at home.

Covid is still out there making a lot of people sick and unfortunately more than you would think of the deaths are vaccinated, but usually much older people. Hopefully, this new vaccine will curb covid cases and deaths. I’m crossing my fingers.

If the news was reporting it people would think it’s even bigger a problem than it is. A lot of people suck at evaluating statistics and risk.

JLeslie's avatar

Crap, so many typos in my long answer above. Apologies.

Forever_Free's avatar

@smudges Analysis Paralysis will not remove the fact that the Covid is still killing people. Don’t get lost or apathetic in the numbers or the way they are counted.
We could debate the numbers and how they are counted all day.

smudges's avatar

^^ Ok, I’ll just be blunt and honest – I’m tired of hearing about it, as are many people, and that doesn’t make me any ‘less than’ someone who still hangs on every detail.

Forever_Free's avatar

@smudges Is there a difference if a report of a Mass Shooting had the numbers slightly wrong? Say 47 people versus 42 or 49.
In the whole context of things, the tragedy is in the deaths, not the variation in the numbers .

smudges's avatar

@Forever_Free <sigh> I never said the deaths were unimportant. I said, ”We know it’s still around; we know other viruses will come around, just like other diseases; we know what helps prevent us individually from getting it; and we know the numbers have been questionable since the beginning.

Somehow you’ve gotten hung up on the numbers that I said were undependable.

The question was whether the news should still be reporting about covid cases and deaths. I said no and gave my reasons in my first post and quoted them above. I have my opinion, you have yours, don’t try to argue with me that mine is wrong. ffs let it go.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
Forever_Free's avatar

@smudges I was responding to your reply that seemed to indicate you had issues with the numbers.
——————————
I have serious doubts about the number of deaths being reported – could be much higher or lower, just undependable – so no, I don’t think it’s helpful. Basically it’s meaningless numbers to me.
——————————-

Forgive my misinterpretation.

smudges's avatar

^^ I didn’t focus on numbers until you did in response to that portion of my post, then I was simply defending my response. And you kept on going.

The deaths themselves are troublesome; the numbers are irrelevant. It doesn’t matter if there are 10 deaths or 1,000. It’s a sad state of affairs, especially when the numbers could have been mitigated dramatically. That’s what I meant by the numbers being meaningless, not that I didn’t care. I’m sorry if I didn’t explain it better. Peace?

smudges's avatar

to those who have been reading the ‘drama’, FF reached out privately and we’re cool

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