WTVM Editorial 2-12-21: COVID-19 Mortality Risk Calculator

WTVM Editorial 2-12-21: COVID-19 Mortality Risk Calculator

(WTVM) - You knew it had to happen at some point and finally someone has invented an online, easy-to-use COVID-19 Mortality Risk Calculator.

One of the good things about the calculator is that it wasn’t created by some Silicon Valley billionaire to make money.

It was invented for free by the very qualified Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland Research Team - experts who’ve been studying the virus almost since day one of the pandemic.

The Covid Mortality Risk Calculator asks basic questions: your age, sex, ethnicity, height and weight.

And then some medical questions: Ever had cancer? Diagnosed with asthma or hypertension? Kidney disease or heart disease? The calculator also asks if you smoke or have ever smoked.

The calculator also knows where you live. No, not your exact home address, just the zip code you supply, so it can calculate any specific risks in your area.

The calculator can tell you, based on the anonymous information you put in, whether your risk of dying from the virus is very low, moderately elevated, substantially elevated, or high.

The calculator is not meant to be relied on for medical decisions you might make and it does not take into account your own personal hygiene and mask-wearing habits.

But it’s still an interesting online tool, that can give basic feedback on how a person’s medical history might affect their survivability of the virus.

And for the large majority of mostly healthy people under 80, Covid-19 is a survivable virus.

The Centers for Disease Control says the greatest risk for severe illness or death from COVID-19 is among those aged 85 or older.

That has not changed since the start of the pandemic.

That’s also why our 75 and older population all ought to get the vaccine as soon as possible.

But no matter your age, never let statistics or any medical calculator lull you into a false sense of security about the virus.

Following the common sense COVID-19 public health guidelines like social distancing and mask-wearing still adds up to be the smartest thing we can all do to protect ourselves.

Click here to access the free COVID-19 Mortality Risk Calculator.

General Manager Holly Steuart brings an editorial a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to hsteuart@wtvm.com or write to:

WTVM Editorial Committee

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Columbus, GA 31906

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