Lakers' LeBron James Posts 'Spider-Man Pointing' Meme About COVID, Flu and Cold

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVDecember 24, 2021

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 23: LeBron James #6 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during a game at the STAPLES Center on December 23, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Credit: 2021 NBAE (Photo by Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images)
Chris Elise/NBAE via Getty Images

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James posted a meme Friday on Instagram mentioning COVID-19, the flu and a common cold.

"Help me out folks," James captioned the post, though it's unclear if he is indeed incorrectly suggesting the three are the same thing.

NBA Central @TheNBACentral

Bron’s last IG post 🤔 <a href="https://t.co/JDn9HgJpMX">pic.twitter.com/JDn9HgJpMX</a>

The three illnesses are not the same.

COVID-19 has killed over 809,000 Americans since it arrived in the United States in early 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Annual deaths from influenza fluctuate each year, but over the past decade, no more than 90,000 people in the U.S. have died from the flu over any two-year period, per the CDC.

Based on those figures, COVID-19 is at least 799 percent more deadly than the flu.

A common cold is even less deadly than the flu. Most deaths come from separate complications following the infection, often in people with preexisting conditions or those who are immunocompromised, according to The Conversation.

The good news is that early studies on the impact of omicron, the latest COVID-19 variant, suggest it often leads to less severe outcomes.

Reuters' Estelle Shirbon reported Tuesday that people in South Africa were 80 percent less likely to need hospital admission with omicron compared to prior variants.

James Gallagher of the BBC reported Thursday that the UK Health Security Agency found the need for hospital care because of omicron was between 50 and 70 percent lower.

That's a positive trend amid a surge in U.S. cases, but it doesn't mean COVID-19 is a thing of the past.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told ESPN's Malika Andrews on Tuesday that the league's goal is finding a successful way to "learn to live" with the coronavirus as a constant presence:

"No plans right now to pause the season. We have of course looked at all the options, but frankly we are having trouble coming up with what the logic would be behind pausing right now.
"As we look through these cases literally ripping through the country, let alone the rest of the world, I think we're finding ourselves where we sort of knew we were going to get to over the past several months, and that is this virus will not be eradicated, and we're going to have to learn to live with it. I think that's what we're experiencing in the league right now."

Silver added 97 percent of NBA players are fully vaccinated, and 65 percent have already received their booster shot. That should help the league's efforts to push through the latest rise in positive tests.

James spent a few days in the league's health and safety protocols earlier this month, but it was a possible false positive test result, as he tested negative earlier the same day and followed up with eight consecutive negative results, per ESPN's Dave McMenamin.