I really struggle with the COVID situation. I am 24 year old man with light allergic asthma. My death risk from COVID seems to be somewhat between 0,2% and 0,01%. Probably out of fear, probably also a bit because of my lack of need for socializing I ended up hiding in my room and contacting no one. I live with my parents. And contacting no one means avoiding my parents and walking in the house with an ffp3 mask. I am fully aware that my precautions are extreme. According to my estimates 2% of the population in my town will end up having Covid and in the case of one of my parents having covid there is a 70% chance he will not infect anyone. My risk now is probably close to zero because I am not having contact with any one. But would I remain in contact with my parents my death risk would be 3 out of 250 000 or 3 out of 5 million. Somewhat as likely as a plane crash. If I am trying to live until age 1 million my behavior would be definitely rational, because in that case taking every year a plane ride would kill me at age 1 million statistically once. However I would assume the likelihood of me having the chance to live up to that age as 20%. But of course it would be a great gain for my utility function to live that long. My question would be, how the rest of you are dealing with risks. Writing this post I am fully aware that the risk of dying from stroke, cancer is much higher for me now. Probably around 20 times higher than from covid. This would be the explanation for my behavior. Of course I could also just rationalize in this way my excessive fear. I am also driving a car at the same time. But I can rationalize that because I am excessively cautious while driving.
I got many interesting comments to my question. I would also like to point out that a covid infection causes a drop of 4 iq points according to a british study. But I explicitly didn’t mention long term consequences because I didn’t wanted to just focus on Covid. I wanted to leave a door open for other risky activities and the discussion of Covid unrelated risks