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I really appreciate the calm documentation of the COVID-19 “outbreak” in Japan. But I think it would be very helpful for readers if you could put the numbers of infected and dead persons in the perspective and context of other infectious diseases.

For example, The Washington Post said Feb. 17 that the number of people infected with the common flu in the U.S. over the last four months was estimated at about 22 million(!) and at least 12,000 people had died so far.

I think this would help the public make a more adequate risk assessment of COVID-19.

RALF MAYER
NERIMA WARD, TOKYO

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.