The WHO itself, the unquestionable unimpeachable unerring medical authority, tells us that as many as four million died in the pandemic.
Not one million. Not two million. No, sir, not even three million. But four full million souls perished from the earth in the pandemic!
This happened not just once. This happened, dear readers, but it happened twice since 1957.
Regular readers will recall this, but given I’ve been getting shocked questions about flu being deadlier than coronadoom, I thought it well to remind us that flu was deadlier than the coronadoom. Many times.
Coronadoom is the only disease that sparked a global unceasing panic, though.
The closet competition to the size of the panic was the 1918 Spanish flu, which the WHO says killed 20-50 million (stats from page 19 of this pdf). There were about 1.8 billion souls alive in 1918, which makes the kill rate of Spanish flu of about 1 to 2.8%—of the entire world.
It’s true that some locales in the States, and elsewhere in the world, joined the Cult of the Mask, but it wasn’t universal, even within states. The somewhat widespread use of masks then prompted the first paper on the uselessness of masks in 1919 (referenced in this post). All forgotten now.
Now the coronadoom has killed just under, the most generous estimates say, 1.6 million. So far. The winter is just beginning in the more populous northern hemisphere, so this number will increase. Let’s give the bug the benefit of the doubt and say 2 million by summer, which will mark, it is likely, the official end of the panic.
There are 7.8 billion of us now, so that doom will score about 0.0026%.
This is way behind Spanish flu, which did 76 times better, but then nobody except model-wielding academics like Neil Ferguson thought the doom would compete toe-to-toe with Spanish flu.
Everybody remembers the Asian flu of 1957-1958, which WHO says gave work to undertakers to the tune of 1-4 million sales. In 1958 there were 2.9 billion souls. That gives a score of 0.03 to 0.1%. That’s 3.3 times better than the doom; or, a 330% increase.
The feature everybody recalls best about the Asian flu was the worldwide panic. The entire US then, as now, was locked down. Many thrown out of work, businesses permanently shuttered. Masks mandates everywhere. People wearing gloves, facemasks, screaming at those who didn’t.
And, of course, the biggie: The global declaration that everybody must have the flu vaccine else they could not buy or sell—or work or go outside or mingle with others. Nobody was forced to take the vaccine. It was a free choice. Freedom was just as important then as now.
The story repeated a decade later, which the WHO estimates also killed 1-4 million souls. That’s only 2.8 times better than the doom—but that’s inflation for you. Devalues everything.
Here’s how the Asian flu started, according to Wiki. See if you’ve heard this before:
The first cases were reported in Guizhou in early 1956 or early 1957, and they were reported in the neighbouring province of Yunnan before the end of February. On 17 April, The Times reported that “an influenza epidemic has affected thousands of Hong Kong residents”. By the end of the month, Singapore also experienced an outbreak of the new flu, which peaked in mid-May with 680 deaths. In Taiwan, 100,000 were affected by mid-May, and India suffered a million cases by June. In late June, the pandemic reached the United Kingdom.
By June 1957, it reached the United States, where it initially caused few infections….
It goes on in the now-familiar vein.
This underplays things, because not only did Asian and Hong Kong flu have much higher kill scores than coronadoom, they rubbed out a lot of kids. Here’s one set of estimates (from this paper):
Don’t worry if you don’t understand the details, but compare the size of the numbers for 0-4 year olds with 65+ year olds. They’re worse. The doom, by contrast, isn’t able to kill anybody under 20, really. Average age of dead in the doom is about 80.
If our pre-effeminacy days it was considered a blow for a child to die by disease. That’s all changed.
The story about the panic in ’57-’58 was we in the blog trade call a joke. It wasn’t true. There was no panic. There were no lockdowns. There were no mask mandates. There were no threats to starve to death people who wouldn’t get vaccinated. And, to repeat, there were no lockdowns.
Same thing a decade later. No lockdowns.
Lots of lockdowns now. Endless panic. No perspective.
Late addition The guy who asked me the question told me to adjust for population for the number of dead in the USA for Asian flu. CDC says 116,000 dead. There were 172 million in states then, 331 million now.
That makes 223,000 Asian flu dead in 2020 numbers. CDC says 262,000 coronadoom deaths now. But those are deaths “involving” the doom, which includes those dying with and those dying from.
It also includes all those who died from government “solutions” to the coronadoom, such as shoving the sick into nursing homes (10-20K? more? dead that way), and bug-spreading lockdowns, and so on.
In any case, comparable numbers—again, with no panic.
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