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COVID-19. Scenarios of a superfluous crisis

Steffen Roth (Department of Strategic Management, La Rochelle Business School, La Rochelle, France and Department of Social Research, University of Turku, Turku, Finland)
Lars Clausen (Department of Sociology, University of Flensburg, Flensburg, Germany and Department of Applied Research, Education and Social Sciences, UCL University College, Odense, Denmark)
Sören Möller (Department of Clinical Research, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark)


ISSN: 0368-492X

Article publication date: 6 August 2020

Issue publication date: 3 May 2021




This study aims to highlight the critical role case fatality rates (CFR) have played in the emergence and the management of particularly the early phases of the current coronavirus crisis.


The study presents a contrastive map of CFR for the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and influenza (H1N1 and H2N2).


The mapped data shows that current CFR of SARS-CoV-2 are considerably lower than, or similar to those, of hospitalised patients in the UK, Spain, Germany or international samples. The authors therefore infer a possible risk that the virulence of the coronavirus is considerably overestimated because of sampling biases, and that increased testing might reduce the general CFR of SARS-CoV-2 to rates similar to, or lower than, of the common seasonal influenza.


This study concludes that governments, health corporations and health researchers must prepare for scenarios in which the affected populations cease to believe in the statistical foundations of the current coronavirus crisis and interventions.



Roth, S., Clausen, L. and Möller, S. (2021), "COVID-19. Scenarios of a superfluous crisis", Kybernetes, Vol. 50 No. 5, pp. 1621-1632.



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