COVID-19 Vs Flu – Symptoms, Contagiousness, Mortality, and More

COVID-19 Vs Flu – Symptoms, Contagiousness, Mortality, and More

There are several reasons why some of us feel the need to minimize the danger. It is a common defense mechanism, that helps us not to surrender. Truth can too often be hard to bear, so we need to edulcorate it, to make it small enough to be kept inside a box, so it doesn’t contaminate everything else. When we don’t have this power, we might end up experiencing anxiety. Every piece of our life surrenders to that threat and we find ourselves incapable to deal with life itself.

When confronted with danger, we need strength to deal with the truth of it and still stand for what we believe in. If it is the life we believe in, then the danger COVID-19 represents can weaken our faith. So, we need to minimize it, to make it fit in the same box we’ve been keeping flu. Flu isn’t perceived as a threat. We get the flu once in a while, we’ve missed two days of work, but life went on. And it looks like COVID-19 isn’t more different than the flu.

COVID-19 Vs Flu

Well, it is. A lot. And this is just our mind playing tricks on us, helping us to cope with the truth about the threat. And it would be alright to believe they are the same if we’d still respect all the rules imposed to avoid getting infected. If we’d keep the social distancing, if we’d wear the mask and the gloves, if we’d wash our hands for 20 seconds each time, we touch something that has the slightest chance to be a source of infection, and so on.

But we don’t. Those reaching the false conclusion that coronavirus and the flu are not much different, usually do it so that they don’t have to go through all this protective hysteria. They are so desperate to keep living like the pandemic isn’t real, that they become a threat themselves. They are like the hidden weapon of the virus, competing with the asymptomatic line of action of the virus.

Here is why COVID-19 isn’t anything like the flu, according to a former COVID-19 patient and a professor of molecular biology at John Jay College, of the City University of New York. The article can be read here.

The symptoms

They share the cough, sore throat, and fever. But not the mucus. Mucus is a flu trend, while COVID-19 doesn’t involve secretion. The cough is dry and the nose isn’t runny. Being infected with COVID-19 and symptomatic involves poor delivery of oxygen, shortness of breath, loss of taste, and smell. Unlike the flu.

Headaches, body aches, and fatigue aren’t COVID-19, nor flu trademarks. They are the answer to a weakened immune system that the body experiences every time it puts up a fight against infection. Also, while the flu lasts for 5 to 10 days, COVID-19 can extend to over a month.


COVID-19’s mortality is higher than the flu across all age groups. In the elderly, it is 10-20 times higher. The flu isn’t biased. Its mortality rate in the last 10 years didn’t breach 1%. Not even in the elders of over 65. The co-morbidities (obesity, hypertension, diabetes, congestive heart disease, asthma, cancer, kidney failure) make it bigger a threat that they make the flu. 


Not the seasonal flu, nor the flu pandemic in 2009, and not even the global influenza pandemic in 1918, couldn’t compete with the contagiousness of COVID-19. The Basic Reproduction Number of COVID-19 is the highest of them all. BNR is the system used by epidemiologists to express the disease’s ability to spread.

Long-term disability

Persistent joint pain, blood clots, strokes, permanent liver damage, brain damage can all be consequences of the infection. It’s nothing like having the flu. They are permanent or even life-threatening debilities left behind by the infection. Not to mention the unknown side of it.  So, don’t get confused, not now, when the lockdown is about to be eased off due to economic reasons. COVID-19 is nothing like the flu.

Anna Daniels

Anna is an avid blogger with an educational background in medicine and mental health. She is a generalist with many other interests including nutrition, women's health, astronomy and photography. In her free time from work and writing, Anna enjoys nature walks, reading, and listening to jazz and classical music.

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