It is not uncommon, especially now, to jump on any social media platform and see someone writing about how COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, is all fake — how it’s just like influenza (the flu). However, while COVID-19 and the flu are similar in ways, they have a few very important differences.

One of those differences is how deadly each disease is. The World Health Organization estimates that 290,000 to 650,000 people die of flu-related causes every year worldwide. John Hopkins Medicine states, “There have been approximately 1,399,073 deaths reported worldwide that have resulted from coronavirus. In the U.S. alone, 257,707 people have died from COVID-19 between January 2020 and November 24, 2020.” The tragedy is that the number of lives lost to the coronavirus continues to grow each day.

Another difference is the symptoms. COVID-19 can cause symptoms like loss of sense of taste and smell, blood clots, trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest and multisystem inflammatory syndrome. These are all severe symptoms that can occur from this disease that differ from the flu’s symptoms.

Furthermore, a vaccine has just been announced for the coronavirus, and research is still being conducted on if this vaccine will really help — whereas the flu has been around for ages, and vaccines have already been invented and proven to work.

COVID-19 is much worse than the flu, and it has taken the world by storm. Hospitals are filled to max capacity with sick patients, and not everyone can be helped. The only way to help save lives is to stay hopeful, keep your distance and wear a mask.

Kylee Williams

West Haven