Risk vs. Reward In The Age Of COVID-19


If you are like me, you are tired of living in a world filled with media and government-induced panic.  Let’s get some facts from Dr. Peter Tippett, internal medicine doctor with a PhD in Biochemistry.  Sounds like he should know some stuff.

He states things I thought we all believed, but apparently, in the current hysterically driven news cycle, people have forgone common sense.

He says, “All protections and countermeasures are only partially effective.”  You wear a seatbelt, not because it’s a fool proof way to save your life, but because it cuts the risk in half. Check.

Every day you step outside, you are deciding if the risks associated with living, are worth the rewards. 

Our elected representatives should be apprising us of the current risks, informing us as to the best countermeasures, and be done with it.  I thought that’s how free people lived?  Each day we wake up and run our own personal risk vs. reward scenarios. 

Dr. Tippett says getting infected by someone else isn’t as easy as one might think.  If you had the virus on your hand, shook the hand of another, there is no science saying he would automatically become “infected”.  

“A tiny number of virus organisms placed in the back of a person’s throat one time is not likely to lead to the average person getting “sick” with COVID.  If we placed a tiny number of live viruses in the throats of 1,000 people, less than half would probably get sick. If we placed 1,000 or 1,000,000 viral organisms, the average person probably would get sick.  And if we placed a tiny number of organisms 10 or 100 times in a week, the average person would also likely get sick because of the multiple exposures. This is because even in your throat, your body has protective countermeasures such as mucus and cilia and your blood and other fluids likewise have generic immune and other protections.  They are just not as strong as we need them to be. Even as people get and recover from COVID or get a future vaccine, 100% of the population won’t be 100% protected, but collectively we will be safe.” 

He goes on to say, “Your nose reduces the risk of viral particles getting to your throat.  A mask reduces the risk of viral particles getting to your nose, and social distancing reduces the risk of getting to your mask.  Together, these countermeasures work very well.” 

The more “countermeasures” you put in place, the more you decrease your odds of becoming sick. Check.

How likely are you to get the virus at the grocery store, or any store?  According to Dr. Tippett, viruses don’t survive very long outside a living host.  “So even if the outside of the box of Cheerios was contaminated a few hours ago by a sick shopper touching it, by the time you get it home 99.9% of it is probably already dead, and by the time you eat breakfast tomorrow, after the box sitting in your dry cupboard, another 99.9% of it is likely dead.” So, if you DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE at any time, you’re good to go.  Check.

I’m not disagreeing with anything Dr. Tippett stated.  I agree with him, countermeasures will decrease your odds of coming in contact with a virus.  If you want to wear a mask and decrease your odds, please do. Please don’t try and shame the rest of us who have run our own risk vs. reward scenarios and have declined the countermeasure of wearing the face mask.

Experts don’t know everything.  In March, Marc Lipsitch of Harvard University said 40-70% of the world population would become infected with the Wuhan virus.

We are all in this together.  Don’t be out there guilting people because they choose not to wear covering over their face.  Neither should you be out there guilting people because they choose to wear a cover over their face. 

What we are doing now comes from the crowd of “if it saves one life.”  It’s unrealistic to live that way.  We need to remember, me included, in truly free societies we each have to decide what is best for the safety and quality of our own lives. 

Dr. Peter Tippett’s original article can be found here.

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Cindy A. Rose began writing for the Tentacle in 2011 trying to raise awareness over things happening within Frederick County Public Schools. She began keeping a close watch on FCPS when she learned there were not enough air conditioned buses for special needs children during the hot Maryland summers. The Tentacle offered her a place to share her concerns with her community when local newspapers didn’t always. Cindy had the opportunity to buy the Tentacle from creator/owner John W. Ashbury in 2019, so she did. She believed then, as she believes now, our communities, friends and neighbors have important things to say that needs to be shared with those living around them. Large corporate news companies don’t always share in those passions and concerns. The Tentacle is a local news, commentary and community website run by citizens, for citizens. Its success depends on your participation.