Over the past month or two, a number of myths and falsehoods about the coronavirus have been creeping onto Irish social media pages. Unfortunately, it seems as though certain people in Ireland are willing to share a number of falsehoods without bothering to fact check their figures. That or they are deliberately pushing disinformation.
More often than not, these false claims are spread by conspiracy theorists who believe that Covid-19 isn’t as dangerous as the experts claim it is. In their opinion, everything should be opened up. Furthermore, many of them believe that social distancing and mask usage is unnecessary.
However, a quick look at the statistics show that a lot of their claims are wrong.
So far in Ireland, there have been 1,777 deaths from Covid-19 in just six months. And that is with a strict national lockdown and social distancing measures in place.
Let’s take a look at some of these claims.
Does the flu kill more people than the coronavirus in Ireland?
No, and it’s not even close. In Ireland, it is estimated that 200-500 people die from the flu every year. That is well below 1,777.
Are there more road deaths in Ireland per year than deaths from Covid-19?
No. For example, in 2014, there were 193 fatalities on Irish roads. In 2018, there were 149 road traffic accident deaths in Ireland. As you can see, these figures don’t even come close to the 1,777 deaths that we have had from Covid-19.
Furthermore, we have traffic laws in Ireland. It is not some sort of open “free-for-all”. Seat belts are mandatory and speeding can lead to penalty points and a fine. We also have an NCT system, which tests various aspects of cars for safety.
Therefore, arguing that social distancing measures shouldn’t be enforced because people die in road traffic accidents just doesn’t make any sense.
Does cancer kills more people than Covid-19?
This is true, however cancer is caused by abnormal cell growth. It cannot spread from person to person like Covid-19. If you have cancer, there is no risk of you giving it to someone else. Similarly, you can’t pick cancer up at work and then bring it back to your loved ones.
The problem with the coronavirus is that we don’t have an immunity to it. Consequently, it can spread like wildfire and overwhelm the health system. If this were to occur, triage would kick in and more deaths would take place.
To sum it up, comparing cancer and Covid-19 is like comparing apples and oranges. They are two very different things.
Do more people die from suicides in Ireland than the coronavirus?
No. One of Ireland’s worst years for suicides was in 2011. This was during the midst of a deep economic crisis that was gripping the country. In 2011, 554 Irish people took their own lives. However, this is still three times less than the amount of deaths that have occurred from Covid-19. And we’ve only been dealing with the virus for six months.