I saw it three times at the park.
Every day, I take Lydia to the park for an hour in the morning and another 20 minutes in the afternoon. It’s how I keep her calm for lessons. ;-) This is a 25-acre, minimally maintained park surrounded by probably another 25 acres of wooded private property. Several of the regulars have seen coyotes and even had their dogs chase them into the woods.
Early last Sunday, my friend Marilee and I were throwing balls into the pond for our dogs when another woman warned us that she had just seen a fox. I told her there are coyotes in the park, and was that what she had seen? And she replied, no, it was definitely a fox.
To be honest, I was skeptical. But I had enough humility to keep an open mind. The very next morning I saw it again, and sure enough, it was definitely a fox.
Because I am surrounded by people talking only about coyotes, I saw a wild dog and automatically thought “there’s a coyote”.
We all do this and don’t even realize it. If, for example, you are surrounded by people who are saying “covid is deadly” then you will probably believe covid is deadly, regardless of the actual data. Here is that data, straight from the CDC (cdc.gov pandemic planning scenarios, scenario 5 - current best estimate as of March 19, 2021):
Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) by age:
0-17 = 0.002%
18-49 = 0.05%
50-64 = 0.6%
65+ = 9% (The CDC should break this down further; I’ve read elsewhere that the majority of deaths in this age bracket are in people over 85. In other words, past the age of life expectancy. So if you are 70, your IFR might actually be 1%, not 9%.)
This means that if you are an adult under 50, and get infected by the virus, your odds of dying are 1 in 2,000. Put another way, if 2,000 adults under 50 got infected, only one would die. For kids, it's 1 in 50,000. Fifty-thousand get sick, one dies, 49,999 recover. I'd be willing to bet that every single one of the children who have died had a serious underlying health condition.
But what about the asymptomatic cases? Well then, the numbers are even better. In fact, the number of infections might be grossly underestimated because some people get infected but never get tested and never go to the hospital, and so the CDC doesn’t count them in those numbers. So your odds of dying might actually be 1 in 4,000 or 1 in 10,000. It’s impossible to know for sure.
Here are some of the things you are more likely to die from than covid (again, from CDC data):
Chronic lung diseases
And so, if you do get infected with the virus, it is highly unlikely you will die of it. The vast majority of people recover. That's what the data shows…
…If you are young (under 65) and healthy. There is always some truth in what you hear, even if a lot of it is inaccurate. There are some coyotes at the park, I just haven’t seen one myself. And yes, a lot of people have died of covid. Most of us have heard that there are factors that put some people at higher risk, some at much higher risk of dying of covid. Age is probably the biggest factor followed by obesity and poor health. The good news is that we all have some control over those factors, and I’m not talking about masks and staying away from others. Good food, good sleep, good activity levels, and good attitude…if you have all four, your odds of dying are probably 1 in a million.
But what about "long covid"? Same answer. Take care of your body and it will recover. There is plenty of information out there to help people who have “long covid” recover completely.
It is natural for us all to hold onto our perspectives, to be skeptical when someone says something new. But if you have just enough humility to keep an open mind, you just might see that it is a fox after all.
Quodlibet: A piece employing several well-known tunes from various sources, performed either simultaneously or in succession. (Schirmer Pocket Manual of Musical Terms)