Currently, COVID-19 is killing virtually no one without pre-existing conditions. Nationwide, the number of deaths is staying exactly the same even though infection rates are growing (or appearing to grow, as testing increases). In Montana, there have been 1083 positive cases. However, studies are demonstrating that far, far more people have the virus than have been tested.
For example, a study from Penn State demonstrates that the infection rate is approximately 80 times higher than seen on positive tests (because most are asymptomatic), meaning that it’s likely that up to 86,840 Montanans have had the virus. The CDC gives a rate of 24% higher than testing shows, meaning that 25,592 Montanans have had it if the Centers for Disease Control is correct. There have been 22 deaths from the virus state-wide, giving a death-rate of only .00025% at the higher figure if Penn State is correct and .00086% at the lower figure if the CDC is to be believed.
In comparison, within the first 15 weeks of 2020 there were 11,246 cases of the flu in Montana. Of those, 488 required hospitalization (far more than those hospitalized with coronavirus, which we were told would “overwhelm our system”) and 17 deaths. While coronavirus seems to be more contagious than the flu, its death rate is .0015%. In other words, influenza is at least 66.7% more deadly in Montana than COVID-19.
Nonetheless, Governor Bullock continues to demand the public wear masks to protect themselves from a virus that most Montanans will carry and never even show symptoms. And as Bullock stirs up the public with implicit threats to go back to Phase 1 house-arrests and business closures, his fan base is clamoring to make masks mandatory.
Bullock posted the following meme on his Facebook page…
Despite the science showing that masks are not an effective means of preventing the spread of COVID-19, some Montanans begged that they become mandatory.