" … Research commissioned that July by the firm Kekst CNC showed how far public perceptions about the pandemic had been skewed, finding they were inclined to believe the spread and fatality was more than a hundred times worse than the reality.
For example, the average Briton was found last month to estimate that the disease had wiped out as much as 7 per cent of the United Kingdom, which would equate to around 4.6 million people, rather than the actual rate in the tens of thousands. They estimate just over 22 per cent of the population have had Covid-19, which at just over 14.6 million people would be well over the current confirmed case tally of 322,000.
“When people estimate risk, they overestimate it massively,” says King College London’s Professor Neil Greenberg, who works with Public Health England as part of the Health Protection Research Unit for Emergency Preparedness and Response. “We are very poor as a public at estimating what risk really means.”
That does not mean the threat posed by Covid-19 can be summarily dismissed, but experts are keen for a sense of proportion.
Prof Udi Qimron, the incoming head of clinical microbiology and immunology at Tel Aviv University, recently highlighted that 99.9 per cent of the world's population has so far survived the virus, as the total number of coronavirus deaths does not exceed 0.1 per cent of the total population anywhere around the world. (See the table below for the latest data on European deaths)
Nervousness? Apprehension? Nah! Not in the US. Here it is just plain old gutlessness. We are not the people our ancestors were. pl