PZ Myers is STILL terrified about dying from Covid.
On his blog ,he complains he is part of the demographic (he just turned 65) that is dying and fears he is going to be next. He writes:
If this disease does get me, I’m going to raise a bony finger to point at all the heedless younger people who don’t believe in masking, or any other basic preventative measures. And I’m especially planning to claw my way out of the grave to knock on the doors of all those people who think that saying “it’s just a flu” is an excuse for ongoing contempt for core concepts in epidemiology. Or anyone who claims the pandemic is over.
He’s been afraid of this disease “getting him” for years now.
Once again, let’s think like a scientist to appreciate how Myers’ fears are more likely to be rooted in germophobia than a rational concern.
The Washington Post article he lists says there are 300 covid deaths per day in the USA. His state, Minnesota, has 1.7% of the USA’s population, which means that roughly 5 people die every day from Covid in his state. But read the article he cites. Toward the very end we find:
“Last month, people 85 and older represented 41.4 percent of deaths, those 75 to 84 were 30 percent of deaths, and those 65 to 74 were 17.5 percent of deaths.”
So that would mean roughly one of those five who die in Minnesota would be 65-74 (and I’d like to see the % broken down further, ie. 65-67 yrs).
So every day, somewhere in the entire state of Minnesota, there is one person age 65-74 who dies from Covid. A person. Now, you’d have to be pretty superstitious to believe that that one person is “going to be me.” It’s just a matter of time before I’m that person. Woe was me. In other words, a rational understanding of the probabilities does NOT support Myers’ level of Fear. It’s just a phobia.
What’s more, we don’t know how many of those 300 deaths involved patients with other underlying diseases, such as diabete, heart disease, lung disease, cancer, etc. It would thus seem that the one death per day is the highest you’ll get it with these data. Factor in underlying diseases and their role and it might be something like one person age 65-74 dies from covid per week.
And Myers is supposed to be part of the “pro-science” crowd.
But you do have to wonder – perhaps his atheism is part of his irrational, hysterical fear of death.