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Monday, December 4, 2023


Pre-existing conditions should not be to blame for COVID-19 deaths

Ninety-four percent of the total number of people who have died from COVID-19 had previous conditions; regardless of their medical history, their deaths were caused by the virus and could have been prevented had administration taken preventative actions.|Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Ninety-four percent of the total number of people who have died from COVID-19 had pre-existing conditions; regardless of their medical history, their deaths were caused by the virus and could have been prevented. | Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

A while ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 94 percent of people who have died from COVID-19 in the U.S had pre-existing conditions. Many have interpreted this percentage to mean that COVID-19 doesn’t matter because it only kills people who are already sick.

These deaths still matter and could have been prevented.

It is true that certain conditions like diabetes and asthma might increase the risk of severe illness while having COVID-19.

A person who is already immunocompromised due to a previous condition should be careful during this pandemic. However, people who have died from COVID-19 did die from the virus, no matter their previous condition.

It may seem obvious, but many people are acting as though those 94 percent of people died from their previous conditions. COVID-19 may have exacerbated those symptoms, but a person with diabetes didn’t die from diabetes. 

The fact is that most of these people wouldn’t have died if they hadn’t contracted COVID-19.

If COVID-19 hadn’t exacerbated the effects of their previous conditions, they would have never died. This idea that these people did not die from COVID-19 is false.

People acting like this 94 percent do not count in terms of COVID-19 deaths reeks of eugenics.

Eugenics is the idea that reproduction among humans can be arranged so that desirable traits are increased. This idea often leads to genocide as the Nazis were very much influenced by eugenics when wanting to get rid of Jews. 

We see a lot of eugenicist attitudes today when it comes to disabled people. Many people will say that they’d rather die than be disabled, or they use disabled people as a reason abortions should exist. This implies that a disabled life has no value and should be ended.

In reality, abortions should exist because women should choose what they do with their body. 

People obsess over trying to cure autism when autism can’t and doesn’t need to be cured. Rather, we could listen to autistic people as to what they need to make life easier for them. 

Eugenics can sound as harmless as the typical joke that some people shouldn’t be allowed to have kids. In fact, thousands of Americans were sterilized because of eugenics in the 20th century, mostly people of color.

Comments arguing that eugenics isn’t the reason for the 94 percent may be believed because they aren’t saying to kill off people with previous conditions. However, saying that it doesn’t matter if disabled people die off is just as bad. 

There’s also the fact that these deaths were preventable. New Zealand has had about 2,000 cases and only 25 deaths. This is because New Zealand had really strict quarantine policies that were actually enforced.

So far in the U.S., there haven’t been any national restrictions in place, allowing cases to spike over and over across the nation. 

We could have dealt with this virus much better, but we didn’t. Now 225,000 Americans are dead because of COVID-19 in a matter of eight months. Many of those deaths could have been prevented if a national mask order was in place, businesses were closed and people out of work were provided aid.

I imagine we all know someone with a previous condition that makes them more susceptible to COVID-19. Whether it be an old person, someone with diabetes, asthma; we all know someone and don’t want them to die.

Everyone, no matter their medical history, deserves to live. All life has value and that 94 percent matters.

For more of The Cougar’s coronavirus coverage, click here.

Anna Baker is an English junior who can be reached at [email protected]

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