USA Today is proclaiming that for South Dakota, COVID-19 “… is as bad as it get anywhere in the world.” But the authors failed to actually look at the numbers.

As of Sept. 20, 2020, the CDC has their best estimates of the infection fatality ratio, that is, the percentage of people who die that actually have the virus, and it is divided into age groups:

• 0-19 — 0.003%;

• 20-49 — 0.02%;

• 50-69 — 0.5%;

• and 70+ — 5.4%.

Presuming that in South Dakota there are twice as many people with the virus as the number who have been tested, since many have no symptoms, the percentages for South Dakota are 0.00%, 0.04%, 0.18%, and 3.5%, respectively. Notice that the state’s percentages are the same or lower than the best estimates from the CDC. Also notice that over half of the deaths occur in those over 70. This does not in any way minimize the tragedy of contracting the virus and how South Dakota hospitals are currently struggling. It says that things are not as apocalyptic as the mainstream media would like you to believe.

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