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Without knowing more, it is impossible to tell how dangerous President Donald Trump’s COVID-19 infection might be. All we can do is wish him well, and we do.

Beat him in the election if we choose, but no American should want to see him in this condition — or anyone else for that matter. But there is something we can do. Let’s stop spreading stupid stuff about COVID-19. Like what?

COVID-19 is not a hoax, it’s deadly. Hope we’re over that idea by now. COVID-19 is now the second-leading cause of death in the United States, after heart disease.

Even those who survive the virus might have after-effects. Those who go into intensive care might be adversely affected with Post-Intensive Care Syndrome causing physical, mental and emotional symptoms. Don’t be inflexible about the threat. You are only encouraging others to ignore it.

Stop throwing shade at the scoreboard. If I have cancer and get killed in a car wreck, I died of the car wreck. Without the wreck, I’d still be alive, although I’d still have cancer.

Many drew misleading and inaccurate conclusions from the Aug. 26 comorbidity statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and asserted that meant COVID-19 was responsible for only 6% of the first 153,504 novel coronavirus deaths (211,975 as of Oct. 3). That was wrongly assumed because 94% had comorbidities listed. That’s wrong, even though President Trump was among those promoting this claim.

The report did indicate there is an average of 2.6 additional conditions per reported COVID-19 death. However, many misunderstand additional conditions (comorbidities) existing with a primary condition. A comorbidity is often a chronic condition a person can live with, like arthritis, diabetes or obesity.

The CDC reports that 6 in 10 U.S. adults have a chronic condition and that 4 in 10 adults have two or more. So, it’s not surprising that those dying of COVID-19 also have comorbidities.

When a person dies, however, the cause and manner of death are determined separately from comorbidities. Suicide is listed as the cause of death for a person who takes their own life, even if they had some dreaded disease and that triggered the suicide. It was the suicide that did them in.

While the CDC data accurately indicates people with preexisting and chronic conditions are more likely to die from COVID-19, the conclusion that only 6% die from COVID-19 is false.

Wear your danged mask.

The coronavirus alone is smaller than an N95 filter size, but the virus travels attached to larger particles consistently caught by the mask. Wearing a face mask will not cause lack of oxygen leading to hypoxia, hypoxemia or hypercapnia. According to the CDC, there is no evidence that the public will experience significant enough oxygen reduction to cause anything like that.

There also is no evidence that wearing face masks will weaken the immune system. Children under 2 years of age should not wear masks, but all others should.

It isn’t against HIPPA or the Fourth or Fifth amendments for a business owner to ask an unmasked store patron why they aren’t wearing their dag-gummed mask. That includes covering the nose, as well as mouth. The Americans with Disabilities Act does not allow anyone, disabled or otherwise, to ignore mask requirements without taking other precautions.

The CDC also did not say cloth masks trap carbon dioxide.

CDC Director Robert Redfield said in his September congressional testimony, “Face masks ... are the most important, powerful public health tool we have. I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against COVID than when I take a COVID vaccine.”

In the Sept. 29 presidential debate, Trump said he only wears a mask “when I think I need it.” He apparently was wrong. We all hope he wasn’t too wrong and that he’s relying on his medical team for treatment.

Tom Crouser is a business consultant who lives in Mink Shoals. Reach him at

tom@crouser.com and follow @TomCrouser on Twitter. Also connect via Facebook and LinkedIn