Most people are aware of the relatively high death rates from Covid-19. And many have heard about the "long Covid" sufferers, who continue to be sick or have permanent tissue damage, as well as those who’ve experienced "cytokine storms" and other auto-immune responses. But very few understand how truly harrowing "normal" Covid can be.

Many more people are susceptible to COVID-19 because there is little preexisting immunity to the virus that causes it—SARS-CoV-2. Through vaccinations and previous infections, a portion of the population has some immunity to influenza, which helps limit the number of cases we see each year. There is a lot of similarity between how the two viruses are spread, but the number of susceptible people is really what allows SARS-CoV-2 to spread so easily. 

Covid-19 has been orders of magnitude worse than any illness people ever experienced, and that includes cancer treatment. For many people, the most challenging part of "classic" Covid is the deep, debilitating fatigue that accompanies it and unless you’ve experienced it, it’s just not possible to comprehend it. Especially if you’re someone who naturally has high energy.

Is Covid-19 worse than seasonal flu?

Yes, significantly worse. The mortality rates are frightening in and of themselves, but the severity and persistence of the fatigue, and the unpredictability of symptoms you might get (Covid toe, shaky hands, loss of smell, but also loss of hearing and sight, all kinds of bizarre psychological and neurological problems), and how long you might be sick, all add a harrowing layer of surreal unpredictability.

Think of it this way. Much like in gambling, you just don’t know what cards you’ll be dealt. Many of the cards are pretty much "get out of jail free", basically a few sniffles, and you’re done. But other cards, out of nowhere, are harsh beyond comprehension for something that we call a "cold".

Covid-19 is undoubtedly scary, and the worst part, aside from the possibility of dying, is not knowing if you’ll experience a very mild version of it, or if you’ll be one of the people who might end up with chronic fatigue and permanent damage, to lungs or other organs. That’s not a bet anyone should be indifferent to. Covid is no joke.