|I agree that absolutely accurate numbers are probably impossible to compile. Not only are data collected in different ways in different places, but they're also changing every day. However, I believe there's enough information out there to conclude that the multiple consequences listed ARE happening to some of those afflicted with COVID-19 to an extent sufficient to be able to make at least some ball park projections. |
All of these numbers could have been calculated mathematically by using a combination of assumptions from currently available data and statistical projections, but I don't think that was the writer's point. It's simply an illustration of the mathematical *compounding effect* that we're already seeing play itself out across the country to help people visualize the order of magnitude of this problem. The actual numbers themselves aren't what's important.
What IS important, when it comes to understanding the numbers we hear every day and how we frame our attitudes and choices surrounding this issue, is to realize that there are tens and tens of thousands of people who have contracted this virus, beyond those who actually die, who are having their lives dramatically changed by it. (Not to even mention the medical bills...) I don't believe there's any doubt about that, even though some are using their influence to downplay these facts. Our attitudes, beliefs, and emotions won't change any of this, except to the extent that they impact our behaviors. And the latter, short of an effective, widely available vaccine, is the only thing that will have an impact on what happens to these numbers going forward.