The Official Story of the Coronavirus Hides a Systemic Crisis: A View from Spain

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 2034 ... March 28, 2020
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The Official Story of the Coronavirus Hides a Systemic Crisis: A View from Spain

Joan Benach

The new coronavirus (SARS-Cov-2) has many faces. The health-related facet has been thoroughly examined for weeks or, better said, scrutinized by the media, especially in countries like Spain and Italy, among others. From the last week of January to the time of writing this text (March 9), the coronavirus is known to have infected more than 114,000 people in more than 100 countries, with over 4,000 individual deaths caused by COVID-19. And it is more than likely that several thousand more deaths will be added to the count in the coming weeks or months, in what is already a pandemic.

Without a doubt, it is a serious health problem, but not the most important one, and perhaps not even the most urgent. An example of this is the case fatality rate, estimated at 3.4 per cent, which can be compared with 11 per cent for SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) or 34 per cent for MERS (Middle East... Respiratory Syndrome). However, let us think that on average more than 1,100 people die every day in Spain from very different causes, and that the common flu causes between 6,000 and 15,000 deaths annually in Spain. We do not know how many people are infected with the coronavirus, but it seems very likely that a high percentage of cases will go unnoticed, with undetected or unrecorded symptoms, which would imply that the actual case fatality rate would be considerably lower than that registered so far.

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