Coronavirus (COVID-19) Mortality, Compared to the Flu and Automobile Fatalities

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Mortality, Compared to the Flu and Automobile Fatalities

Revised December 19, 2020

NOTE: since this article was first written, numerous examples of exaggerated counting of COVID-19 deaths has been found; see this page for an analysis of the over counted Coronavirus fatalities.

Coronavirus ( COVID-19) is an airborne respiratory illness that appears to have originated in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. It is characterized by it's rapid rate of transmission, and quick geographic spread. But what about the mortality? How dangerous is COVID-19?

Coronavirus (of which there are a number of variants) are related to viruses that causes the common cold, the flu, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) .

The reported COVID-19 symptoms are typically:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

The CDC believes at this time that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure. This is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses and what they are learning from the current COVID-19 cases.

According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.


Despite the rapid spread of the virus, it's mortality rate is very, very low among normal people given decent health care. Yes, people with compromised health and living in countries with poor health systems will have a high death rate. Even there, the rate is under 2%. In America, there have been no deaths and are unlikely to very many. By comparison, the ordinary flu (did you get yourflu vaccination shot?) has already killed 187 children in America January 1st. - May 1, 2020

Statnews analyzed the numbers at the beginning of March 2020 and says:

China CDC found, 2.3% of confirmed cases died. But the fatality rate was 14.8% in people 80 or older, likely reflecting the presence of other diseases, a weaker immune system, or simply worse overall health. By contrast, the fatality rate was 1.3% in 50-somethings, 0.4% in 40-somethings, and 0.2% in people 10 to 39.

Note: March 3, 2020: The Death Rate From Coronavirus Is Plunging In China.

Comparison with the ordinary flu and a benchmark: automobile accidents,

Attribute Coronavirus (COVID-19) as of May 6, 2020: Influenza (the Flu) in the U.S. Automobile accidents
Cases 3,750,000 world wide,
1,256,652 (known) in the U.S.
A huge number of people are believed to be asymptomatic and recovered without ever being tested or identified as ill with COVID-19
So many people get the flu and never see a doctor, the number of cases or infections is unknown. The CDC estimates that, just from October 1, 2019, through February 15, 2020, there have been:
29,000,000 to 41,000,000 flu illness fatalities in the United States
Road traffic crashes rank as the 9th leading cause of death and account for 2.2% of all deaths globally.
United States
In the U.S., There were 33,654 fatal motor vehicle crashes in the United States in 2018
Affects Most severely, the elderly, obese people, and those with other health issues such as diabetes, heart conditions, respiratory problems, many of those related to age and or obesity. All, more severely, the elderly, children and those with other health issues Worldwide
All who ride in a motor vehicle, but it affects younger people more disproportionately:
More than half of all road traffic deaths occur among young adults ages 15-44.
United States
Over 1,600 children under 15 years of age die each year
Nearly 8,000 people are killed in crashes involving drivers ages 16-20
Need medical help Hard to estimate; many cases are so mild (appear to be like a cold), that the individuals do not seek medical treatment. Accurate numbers will not likely be known until after the pandemic passes 13,000,000 to
flu medical visits
An additional 20-50 million are injured or disabled
United States
About 3 million people in the U.S. seek some medical help;
Hospitalizations Hard to say, many are in quarantine, with minimal symptoms, but some, especially the elderly are quite ill. Accurate numbers will not likely be known until after the pandemic passes 280,000 to
flu hospitalizations
2.35 million are injured or disabled; about 2 million have permanent injuries

9 in the U.S. (total as of March 3, 2020),
74,347 deaths as of May 7, 2020
179,150 deaths in the U.S. by August 26, 2020
300, 000 deaths in the U.S. by early December - BUT see this page for an analysis of the over counted Coronavirus fatalities. The real number could be as low as 1/10th that.

almost all among elderly or those with other health issues, none among young or children.

264,000 worldwide (May 7, 2020)
821,559 world wide by August 26, 2020

Other countries, *(as of August 26, 2020)

116,580 deaths Brazil
61,450 deaths Mexico
59,449 deaths India
41,551 deaths United Kingdom
35,458 deaths Italy
30,549 deaths France

The CDC estimated that about 177,000 Americans died during the 2017-2018 flu season, from either the flu itself or by complications of pneumonia.

In average years, it is expected that 16,000 to
41,000 deaths in the U.S.
due to the flu
Nearly 1.25 million people worldwide die in road crashes each year, on average 3,287 deaths a day.
United States
36,560 deaths occurred in 2018; a typical year is 33,000 to 42,000. That's at least 90 people per day.
That's also 11.2 deaths per 100,000 people and 1.13 deaths per 100 million miles traveled.
Figures updated May 7, 2020

pandemicsSee this interesting graphic comparing pandemics throughout history


And for information about the use and effectiveness of face masks, see this page.


COVID-19 is definitely a serious risk to elderly people with obesity and other serious health issues. Middle-aged as well with health issues. For younger and healthier... not much risk to their own health.

At least 98+% of the people who get COVID-19 recover. Some strains to the Flu take many months for a full recovery. Almost no children have died. Children have a MUCH higher risk of dying from the flu. Did they get their flu shots? COVID-19 appears to be fatal almost exclusively to the elderly and those who already have other health issues, especially those related to obesity.

Governor Cuomo of NY announced May 6, 2020 that 66% of COVID-19 fatalities are happening to people who have remained locked down at home. See CNBC news. And 18% are to residents of nursing homes, the same nursing homes he forced to take the sick patients, infecting others; see Cuomo ordered Nursing homes to take actively contagious elderly patients who were in hospitals. See video of Cuomo ordering nursing homes to take these contagious patients here.

If you live the the U.S., the risk of death from in a car crash, unless you are over age 70, is higher than dying from COVID-19.

Wash your hands frequently with soap, cover your mouth when you couth and stay away from people who are coughing and sick. And you'll be fine.

All of these types of colds, flus and respiratory viruses decline in the warmer months, so once the heat of summer and stronger UV radiation gets here, the cases should decline greatly. By the return of cold weather, there will likely be a vaccine or effective treatment!


See this page for prevention and treatment information for Coronavirus.

More information about the source and spread of Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

  1. CDC 2019-nCoV Situation Summary: Source and Spread of the Virus.
  2. U.S. Department of State China Travel Advisory
  3. World Health Organization, Coronavirus
  4. Know the Facts About COVID-19 and Help Stop the Spread of Rumors - WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2020
  5. Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel (New Travel Alerts)MONDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2020
  6. CDC in Action: Preparing Communities for Potential Spread of COVID-19SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2020
  7. Frequently Asked Questions and Answers: Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) and ChildrenSUNDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2020
  8. Frequently Asked Questions and Answers: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and PregnancyFRIDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2020

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Interesting Reads:

THE PREPPER'S CANNING & PRESERVING BIBLE: [13 in 1] Your Path to Food Self-Sufficiency. Canning, Dehydrating, Fermenting, Pickling & More, Plus The Food Preservation Calendar for a Sustainable Pantry

The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre! Paperback

The Citizens' Guide to Geologic Hazards: A Guide to Understanding Geologic Hazards Including Asbestos, Radon, Swelling Soils, Earthquakes, Volcanoes

The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming

Book: The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History Paperback

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