Plagues in perspective

THERE WAS A global pandemic in 1957-58, an H2N2 virus. The estimated death toll was 1.1 million. I was 13-14 years old, and I do not remember it. Do you? If you weren’t born yet, ask your mom and dad.

In 1968, an H3N2 virus caused another pandemic. It killed an estimated 1 million to 4 million globally which, yes, is a very wide range, and about 100,000 in the United States, most of whom were over age 65. Sound familiar? I was 24 years old, married with a daughter. I do not remember this pandemic. Do you?

Why are they forgotten?

During those pandemics, nations did not clobber their own economies nor force citizens to stay home and wear face masks to walk outside. What has changed? Communication has changed. And we’re scaring ourselves out of our wits.

This year we have the coronavirus, which has killed about 700,000 worldwide and about 159,000 in the United States, and it seems to be winding down in many places. In Mexico, 48,000 have died, which is one of the world’s highest tolls.

Mexico’s GDP has taken a terrific hit due to forced business closures.

To put that global death toll of 700,000 in perspective, it’s about midway between the populations of Albuquerque and Austin. For the whole world, which houses 7 billion, 800 million and change, people-wise.

Following is a brief video from the inimitable Katie Hopkins. She is addressing a ham-fisted shutdown in Melbourne, Australia, where lockdown has reached stellar absurdity.

29 thoughts on “Plagues in perspective

  1. Indeed. Where does this all end up?

    Not a pretty sight up here, señor. The network news NOB is unable to recognize the truth. Apparently, they have been convinced by their own insanity.

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      1. Sr. Z, as a former newspaperman, surely you’re aware nobody ever bought a newspaper to read about planes that landed safely. There’s a reason why local TV news is referred to as “Murder Mayhem Weather and Sports.” This applies to all media, right or left.

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  2. I guess the question to ask is the death toll at 700,000+ because of the lockdowns? Would it be 7,000,000 if countries hadn’t locked down?

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    1. Karlos: Sweden and, I think, Denmark have taken a far less harsh approach to the problem, and their results look good in spite of what you see on some “news” sites. In the U.S., South Dakota, if memory serves, also refused to shut down, and their stats look good too.

      Here’s a look at the results in Sweden:

      t.ly/b3IB

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    2. Karlos, P.S.: To answer the question you pose more directly. It’s impossible to know. But the results of those relatively few places that did not shoot themselves in the foot with a bazooka offer a very good indication of the answer, I think.

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  3. President Trump is a businessman. He is not an epidemiologist, a doctor or even a faith healer. He is not a miracle worker. He can only tell us what his best experts tell him. Remember “masks do nothing” and “it’s like a flu. It will be gone when it gets warm.” Well, it is plenty hot now, and the damn virus is still with us. That tells me that this is a whole different problem. The experts know very little about it.

    Biden’s ad that compares the number of our infections against those of Spain and Italy does not take into consideration that we have a much bigger population. How stupid does he think we are?

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    1. Señor Gill: I’m not convinced it’s a whole different problem. I think that due to modern technology we know a lot more about what’s happening than we did decades back. As ever, I could be mistaken. With this overload of information about its presence, we’ve gone nuts. I’ve pretty much ceased to pay attention to the lunacy. I do the obvious. Wash my hands more, don’t do the Mexican hugs and kisses with everyone (actually no one except my wife) and avoid crowds when possible, and it’s almost always possible. I don a mask when I’m made to, which is likely less here than above the border. I think masks help infected people from infecting others. I don’t think they do much to help the uninfected.

      Biden has ads? Haven’t seen any. Bet they’re pretty silly and chockablock with bad info.

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  4. Your comparisons with other pandemics, other countries etc etc. are disingenuous and simply reflect your, and Trump’s, preoccupation with the upcoming Nov. 3 elections, which as of now, seem to bode very badly for Trump.

    So you, Fox News, and other Trumperite hotspots, and Trump himself, are thrashing around for excuses for the unimaginable: Trump’s defeat in November.

    It can’t be! it can’t be! y’all seem to be saying, as you search around for conspiracies, plots, paper ballots, illegal immigrants, fake news, the liberal media, the stars, Hillary, the Eastern elites, and other explanations. Trump losing because the country rejects him? It can’t be! It can’t be!.

    Bubba, Trump lost the popular vote by three million, and his popularity has seldom, if ever, gone over 50 percent since them. Though his “base” of 40 percent or so seems solid, It won’t take much to knock him down. The question is now whether he’ll be man enough and enough of a statesman, to accept defeat.

    Smell the coffee, Felipe. And buckle your seat belt.

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    1. Señor Lanier: It’s interesting that reactions to the virus seem to be split pretty cleanly down the political line. Conservatives think the lockdowns are very bad, and lefties think they don’t go far enough, that we should all be caged in our homes till the coast is clear.

      As for the election in November, lots of folks, myself included, voted for Trump in 2016 simply because he was not Hillary. Now, however, lots of folks, myself included, just love the guy, plus lots more have jumped on the Trump Train, reflecting their intelligence. The only fly in our ointment is the leftist control of Big Tech, the media, the education system, etc. The propaganda value is YUGE.

      Hopefully, most of the American people will see through it all and do the right thing. Let us pray so. For the future of the nation and, to a degree, Western Civilization.

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    2. Señor Lanier, P.S.: Another thing or things to keep in mind. I know you’re believing the polls. Remember that before the 2016 election, Hillary was ahead in the polls something like 95 percent to Trump’s 5 percent? And what happened on Election Day? Whoops-a daisy!

      And in 2016 we did not have Democrat rioters in the streets burning, looting and singing the praises of Marxism. You think that stuff is going to aid your cause in November? What has me bothered perhaps more than anything is Democrat corruption of the voting process. They will if they can.

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      1. Felipe: one of the shocking things about our media is that they are trying (and to some extent succeeding) in persuading voters that the unruly at the protests are right-wingers. I kid you not! That’s what a good friend in Ajijic thinks, if I understand her correctly. And most leftists are perfectly willing, nay eager, to believe that all the bad in the world comes from right-wingers. And given how long it takes to count absentee/mail ballots, we are very likely looking at an election where the result won’t be clear for weeks and weeks after the election, providing more fodder for “the resistance” and generally further dividing and riling up America. It’s not going to be pretty.

        Saludos,

        Kim G
        Boston, MA
        Where we’re sincerely hoping the above doesn’t happen.

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        1. Kim: I have heard that they are trying to blame the riots on conservatives. The good thing is that only the leftists will believe it, I hope, and they will vote for Biden anyway.

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          1. In terms of winning elections, you have to worry about the persuadables, those folks who are willing to vote for the best candidate of either party. I used to be a partisan Democrat. Now I’m a persuadable. If the Democrats were running Klobuchar or Bloomberg I’d have to very seriously reconsider my Trump vote. I’m not a tribal Trump supporter. For me, he’s just the (very entertaining) means to an end.

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  5. I am afraid there is a tendency for some people to not see outside their circle of friends. They all share the same thoughts and do not consider what is happening beyond that circle. While some detest Mr. Trump, others cannot wait to get a chance to vote against the lunacy of the Democrat Party. That party’s support of violent protesters and what passes for Black Lives Matter really turns us off. BLM seems to be just folks that want the right to commit crimes with impunity. Most victims of black crime are other black folks. This will not end well.

    No matter how this next election turns out, half of the nation will not be happy with the result.

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    1. Señor Gill: That reminds me of a famous anecdote of some years back in which a New York Times columnist opined on the chances of some Republican winning some election. I don’t remember which, but it does not matter. Might have been Reagan’s first victory. Well, anyway, she said that the GOP guy didn’t stand a chance of winning because no one she knew was going to vote for him.

      No one she knew.

      And the Republican won big-time. Yeah, I think it was Reagan. It’s an old quote but still amusing and revealing too.

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  6. If I may be permitted a little whataboutism, we’re losing a 9/11 every three days. What about the reaction to that event, and the loss of freedom we welcomed in order to fight terrorism?

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    1. Creigh: Forgive me, but I’ve been chuckling at your comparison, analogy, whatever you want to call it. But I gotta wonder how many thousands — hundreds of thousands — of people lost their jobs and businesses due to the Mohammedan attack on Sept. 11. I’m thinking not very many.

      Here in Mexico alone, the GDP plunged a record near-19 percent in the second quarter due to the shutdown nonsense.

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      1. Felipe: It’s hard to know how many lost their jobs due to 9/11. Partly it’s because we were already in a mild recession when it hit. But for a good while after 9/11, the airline, hotel, and tourist industry broadly took a big hit due to folks’ fear of traveling. For Easter weekend 2002, a friend and I went to Orlando on a super-cheap flight, stayed in a nice hotel at super-cheap rates, and enjoyed Disney World, Sea World, and Universal Studios without having to wait more than about a minute in line for any ride. It was epic.

        This time around, the “end” of the pandemic will be much slower and much less clear. As a result, I’d expect the effects to last much longer than those of 9/11, which IMHO, lasted too long. Right? By Easter of the following year, the federal government had totally revised air safety, installed air marshals, and upped the amount of airport security massively. Yet folks were still afraid to travel. Expect a much longer tail on covid.

        Saludos,

        Kim G
        Boston, MA
        Where I too am afraid to travel at the moment.

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  7. The USA has about 2.5 million deaths a year. That’s almost 7,000 a day. The coronavirus isn’t near the top even with the inflated numbers. On November 4th all this hysteria will be over.

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    1. Thirsty: I too think the plague will fade into the background on Nov. 4. We are of one mind.

      They gave it all they could. Russia hoax, impeachment, the Plague Year. Constant crying and moaning and screaming. I’m thinking they’ll crank up impeachment again in his second term.

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  8. I think your general take on the panic about coronavirus is generally correct. And, whether anyone would consciously admit it, I think a lot of places saw China do the lockdown and decided to do the same. Let’s also not forget that in the early stages of this thing, we were all thinking that the infection fatality rate could be as high as 3-4%, which in a highly contagious disease would have been epically disastrous. We now have much more evidence to suggest that it’s a half-percent or less. So I’d argue that the initial lockdowns weren’t totally ridiculous. But what’s ridiculous is sticking to the same strategy. Especially in light of the fact that there’s little evidence that lockdowns even work. Look at the curve for Sweden, which had no lockdowns. It’s just about the same shape, albeit higher, than the places that did lockdowns. While it doesn’t sound intellectual to say that with this kind of disease that it just comes in and does what it’s going to do, that may well be the answer.

    There’s also one big difference between now and the earlier pandemics: Americans, at least, are older and much more risk averse. We now live in a country where university students need coloring books and coddling because someone said something nasty. Well, how would you expect such people to react when confronted with actual danger?

    Panicked overreaction here we come!!! Screaming all the way!!!

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we’re excited about the new, cheap, but less sensitive rapid tests recently developed that could end all this nonsense.

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  9. Maybe Biden will be all right. They have a basement in the White House, don’t they? The Kung Flu should be slowed down by November, and we should see that the numbers are nowhere near what the panic-stricken Dems have themselves hurtling off the cliff over.

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