More than a month into the fall semester, COVID-related hospitalizations at 50 of the nation’s top colleges remain near zero while reporting not a single student death from the novel Wuhan coronavirus.
According to writer Andrew Bostom, who is tracking coronavirus outbreaks on American campuses using their own reported data, only three students had been hospitalized as of Oct. 5. Only two were hospitalized in September, and no students have died from the virus from the 50 colleges being monitored.
1/ Campus C19 update, 10/5/20: Despite ~70K C19+ tests at 50 major universities, barely any reported hospitalizations (i.e., 3), & no deaths. (Tabulated below, with explanation, & more refs following tweet thread) pic.twitter.com/aXrycwtFtk
— Andrew Bostom, MD, MS (@andrewbostom) October 5, 2020
According to AL.com on Friday, a local Alabama news site, cases of the Wuhan virus at the University of Alabama saw their fourth consecutive week of decline. Twenty-four cases were confirmed over the prior seven-day period, after 48 cases were reported the week before. The university, home to nearly 40,000 students, has now seen almost 2,400 cases since the fall semester kicked off on Aug. 19.
While no deaths have been reported on the campuses tracked by Bostom, American campuses have still suffered fatalities from the novel virus. According to the coronavirus campus tracker by the New York Times tracking more than 1,600 colleges, at least 70 deaths have been linked to higher education institutions since the start of the pandemic. The Times critically notes however, that most of the campus deaths occurred in the spring and involved employees, not students.
The dismally-low fatality data among American college students underscores how little threat the virus poses to individuals aged 18-24. Despite thousands of students still testing positive, a mere fraction have succumbed to the lethal consequences of a virus shown to take a disproportionate toll on older demographics. According to the Centers for Disease Control’s “current best estimate,” those aged 19 and younger possess a 99.99 percent chance of survival. Those aged between 20 and 49 face a 99.98 percent chance.
Hysterical media coverage however, has convinced Americans they are dealing with a virus more dangerous than it really is, prompting lawmakers to keep in place strict lockdowns leading to greater public health consequences than the virus itself. Such lockdown measures have raised concern among prominent public health professionals, leading more than 8,000 medical experts to sign the “The Great Barrington Declaration” which urges policymakers to pursue a more targeted approach to the pandemic by protecting the vulnerable while lifting restrictions on the rest of the population.
“As infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists we have grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies,” doctors from Harvard, Stanford, and Oxford wrote, citing lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings, and deteriorating mental health. “The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk.”