I remember the Hong Kong flu. I think it was the sickest I have ever been.

But it was a flu with a low mortality rate (about 0.5% compared to about 3.4% for COVID-19.) It lasted about 4 to 5 days.

CDC estimates the deaths from it at 34,000 to 100,000 over about a two-year period. In my city, it was a huge event with many school closings.

Gregg Hughes (Voice of the People, July 23) seems to underestimate COVID-19.

This is an entirely new strain of a virus that no one has immunity to.

It has an extremely high infection rate and mortality rate compared to the typical flu strain.

It hasn’t disappeared as summer happened and, in fact, has intensified.

To date, COVID-19 has killed more people than died in any of our wars, excepting the Civil War and WWII.

It has killed more people than all our wars since Korea combined. It has killed four times the number of people who died in auto accidents last year. And it has done this in just 6 months.

The numbers suggest that by year end we could see nearly a quarter-million people dead from COVID-19. Deaths will continue for months after the end of 2020 until a vaccine can be administered to our population and immunity accomplished, at least 4 to 6 more months into 2021.

We are in this spot because of pathetic leadership by our political leaders both federal and state who underestimated this virus.

Bert Peterson

Hastings

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