Opinion: “Are we overacting to the Covid-19 virus ‘crisis’?”

The Chillicothe Gazette has had a large number of articles and opinion pieces related to the Covid-19 virus outbreak we’ve been experiencing this year. They’ve included articles telling us the number of the cases, the actions taken to stop its spread and the impact those actions have had on the economy. This week alone we’ve seen a Fact Check article related to Ohioans’ risk of dying from the virus and an article on nursing home Covid-19 deaths. I’m sure we’ll see more articles coming in the coming weeks.

With all that coverage, coupled with the fact that the original estimate of 2.5 million possible deaths from Covid-19, is it any wonder that a recent poll of Ohio voters found that Covid-19 was their number one concern? I don’t think so.

But what is the risk of death from Covid-19 for most Ohioans? The article on nursing home deaths stated that 64% of Ohio’s Covid-19 (4,354) deaths were related to nursing homes. That means nursing homes have accounted for approximately 2,786 of the total Covid-19 related deaths in Ohio. That leaves 1,568 deaths from non-nursing homes environments equating to approximately to 1% of Ohio’s normal annual death count. So, as the facts on the actual risk Ohioans face from Covid-19 come out, it think it is only natural for individuals to second guess whether our state’s government properly reacted.

Just as an example, an Ohio statewide shutdown was mandated prior to Ross County having its first Covid-19 case! That was also the case for many other rural counties in Ohio. Was that shutdown actually justified?

Chillicothe has seen shops and restaurants go out of business since the shutdown began. Yet the non-nursing home, prison and healthcare related cases in Ross County is less than 600 and total deaths are only 17.

So is it possible that the shutdown we’ve experienced might have been an over reaction?

(At the same time there are some other issues that have gone unreported that we should be reacting to! I’ll cover a couple of them in future “Opinion” pieces.)

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