For the third or fourth time studies have been released showing that COVID-19 rates of infection are much, much higher than what is currently reported. While these studies are just the beginning they all seem to point to one thing. The average rate of infection seems to be about 50X higher than reported cases.
Given the 50X higher rate of infection the morbidity rate would appear to be on average from these studies something between .3% to .4%. This would mark COVID-19 as being about 3X to 4X more deadly than the average common flu; or the equivalent of a really bad flu. This however does no take into account the fact that we have known effective therapeutics for the flu (tamiflu) and vaccines that are at least 50% effective on average. And, while the flu does change every year, there is also a bit of “herd immunity” with the standard flu.
The COVID-19 virus is a more stable genome than the standard flu. As such, it will mutate more slowly. This should have several effects, 1) Once developed, vaccines should be more effective against it over longer periods. 2) Herd immunity, once gained, should last longer making COVID-19 less of a threat with each “season”. 3) Once developed, therapeutics should be more effective.
All of that taken together should over time relegate COVID-19 to being “the lesser flu” as over time it should effect fewer people and vaccines and therapies should be more effective bringing the morbidity rate down to flu, or below flu type levels.
There was a day (before vaccines) when parents used to purposefully expose their children (between 5 and 8) to measles and mumps. There were occasional tragic results, but overall it was the right thing to do as children mostly recovered from them easily and the older you were when you contacted them the worse the outcome. I’m not sure we shouldn’t be doing the same thing now, since all the evidence seems to indicate the same pattern with COVID-19.