Opinion

Limited San Diego County Coronavirus Deaths Confirm that We Should End the Lockdown

It’s time to end the California state and local lockdown mandates. Sensibly.

As of May 15, there have been 5,662 reported coronavirus cases in San Diego County—a huge county of 3.3 million people. Doubtless there were many more who were infected by the coronavirus, but the symptoms were so mild that the victims didn’t get themselves tested or treated for the virus.

Now, consider the numbers in the key table here—the number of San Diego County deaths “associated” with the coronavirus. As of May 15, of those 5,662 reported cases, there have been 209 county deaths associated with the coronavirus. But dig down into the age demographics.

Note that with thousands of cases of coronavirus, no one under the age of 20 has died. Not one. In fact, only four total have died between the ages of 20 and 39.

Of those cases who have died in San Diego County, 73.7% were were 70 or older. Indeed, 46.4% of the deaths were age 80 or over.

Now, let’s circle back to “associated” deaths.  What that means is that a person died while testing positive for the coronavirus. It’s likely that the virus was the primary cause of most of these deaths. But these deaths almost always had comorbidity factors—other maladies or conditions that made people much more vulnerable to the coronavirus.

According to San Diego County Supervisor Jim Desmond, as of May 13, only *six* San Diego County deaths were “pure” coronavirus deaths—deaths solely attributable to the virus.

Given the catastrophic economic damage that the prolonged lockdown is causing, the way forward is obvious:

  1. Open the county’s economy, parks, beaches, and schools, with sensible safeguards when feasible—social distancing, hand-washing, and masks—preferably voluntary. By now, we all know what to do.
  2. Encourage seniors—especially seniors with health problems, such as myself—to remain in a voluntary lockdown for a while longer. Thanks to the internet, we geezers can do it and not harm the economy. If we choose not to isolate ourselves, it’s our problem—not the government’s.
  3. Younger folks with serious health problems should decide for themselves whether or not to continue in lockdown. And just maybe some should consider giving up smoking and commit to eating more healthy food.