O.K. Some numbers from Germany:

  • From 2001/2002 to 2017/2018, influenza caused 7.800 annual deaths on average, and 25.100 deaths in the worst season.
  • Germany has 28,000 intensive care places. With 0.34 per 1000 inhabitants, this is apparently one of the highest relative numbers worldwide.
  • During the influenza season, influenza patients require araound 60% of ventilator capicity, although this may reach up to 90% in a bad season.

So: yes, influenza is a real problem, even in a country with a good health care system. But: Covid-19 IS considerably worse.

Just an extremely rough calculation: Deaths from Covid-19 show textbook exponential growth in most European countries. In Germany, currently the country with the lowest case fatality rate among the major affected European countries, doubling time of Covid-19 deaths is 5.5 days, based on the past 10 days. If this continues, we will exceed 68,000 deaths within less than two months – which is well before the peak of the epidemic. The number of 68,000 deaths in Germany assumes mortality rates will remain at their current low level – which they won’t, as by that point, hospital capacities will be well exceeded.

Or bit more exactly: Modelling by the Robert-Koch-Institute, using reasonably optimistic parameters, estimates that at the epidemic’s peak, between 3.5 and over 10 million people in Germany will be infected simultanously – depending on the seasonality of the virus and whether a proportion of people (one third) has a pre-existing immunity. At that point, between 40,000 and 1.125 million intensive care places will be needed. If no measures are taken, between 250,000 and 350,000 persons are estimated to die from Covid-19. In a country with very good health care. Using very optimistic disease parameters.

 

It is debatable how reasonable it is to close churches BEFORE restaurants. And of course it must be possible to have children baptized. And confessions taken. And Masses to which the public is not admitted still need to be said (I have my doubts that this really happens in Germany, but that is not a fault of the evil oppressive state). Of course there should be a stronger spiritual response to this crisis from the clergy. And of course not being able to attend Mass, especially during Lent and Easter, IS a great tribulation and sorrow. But whatever the motivation of the decision-makers might be, I believe prohibiting all larger congregations of people, including during Mass, is an eminently reasonable decision at the moment.