North of “Just the Flu”

We’re on the cusp of May.

61,699 Americans have died from coronavirus. 4/5ths of confirmed cases are still unresolved. The IHME model, which was heavily criticized by conservatives and libertarians, actually was inaccurate. It was too optimistic. We weren’t supposed to reach 60,000 deaths until August.

In the 2017/2018 flu season, 61,000 Americans are estimated to have died from the flu. This was the worst flu season since the 1967 flu pandemic. 37,000 Americans die in an typical flu season. 24,000 Americans died in the 2019-2010 flu season. We had a mild flu season this year.

This is a problematic number for flu truthers because deaths from COVID-19 have now surpassed nothingburger virus (SARS, bird flu, H1N1, Ebola or >13,000 deaths), then a mild flu season (24,000 dead), then an average flu season (37,000 dead), then the worst normal flu season (61,000 dead). We’re now only in the realm of influenza pandemics (the Spanish Flu, 1957 and 1968 influenza pandemics) which carried off hundreds of thousands of lives. The next mile marker is the 100,000 who died in the 1968 influenza pandemic followed by the 116,000 in the 1957 influenza pandemic.

In the United States, we have 212,066 closed cases and of those 62,380 cases (29%) ended in death. If we assume 29% of our current active cases end in death, we will have 250,578 additional deaths. If we assume 20% of current active cases end in death, we will have 172,812 additional deaths. If it is 10%, we will have 86,406 additional deaths. If it is 5%, we will have 43,203 additional deaths. The current global average after 1,263,255 closed cases of coronavirus is still 18%. Spain and Italy are ahead of us in their curves and currently 15% and 27% of their closed cases have ended in death.

What does this tell us? Just based on the people who are currently infected and who have a confirmed positive test result in the United States, we are on track to surpass the 1957 and 1968 influenza pandemics in confirmed deaths, not merely estimates. The death rate of closed cases in the United States would have to drop from 29% to less than 5% for that not to happen. COVID-19 is going to go down in history as the deadliest pathogen to strike the United States since the Spanish Flu.

The full force of this virus has been temporarily quelled by the lockdowns. We don’t know how many more people will be infected and die. We don’t know how many more waves of the virus are still coming. We don’t know when an effective treatment or vaccine will be found. We don’t know how the various reopenings will play out next month. We do know that the illusion that this is “just the flu” will rapidly fade next month because we are only 1/5th of the way through the first wave of the virus.

As a disease, COVID-19 is probably even worse than the Spanish Flu. Penicillin wasn’t even invented until 1928. Virtually everything we take for granted about modern medicine is less than a century old. If this virus had struck back then, the death toll would have been even higher than Spanish Flu. The coronavirus pandemic is a stark reminder that the struggle between humanity and viruses is eternal. Progress is an illusion. Nature is always coming up with new ways to kill us.

The liberal (progressive liberal, conservative liberal or libertarian) struggles with this. It had to be “just the flu” simply because the flu is the only respiratory disease that is familiar to us:

American Mind:

“The history of pathogens advances in parallel with and is no more static than our own, with which it is always intertwined, even if at times invisibly. Sometimes it rushes forward with great speed and breathtaking evolutionary vigor, and sometimes it rests in slow backwaters. When, in 1967, the U.S. Surgeon General declared that we had won the war on infectious diseases, we thought the slack water would last forever. But that war had never ended other than in wishful thinking.

Even now we accept as normal, because it is normal, that more than a quarter of all deaths—fifteen million each year—are due to infectious diseases. Three million children die every year of malaria and diarrheal diseases alone, one child every ten seconds. As sobering as this may be, we have been nonetheless in a quiescent stage of the mutability of pathogens, a hiatus from which they are now poised to break out. When viral diseases evolve normally—such as in the typical course of the human influenza virus undergoing small changes in its antigenicity and killing an average of 500,000 people annually throughout the world—it is called an antigenic drift. When they emerge with the immense power derivative of a jump from animal to human hosts followed by mutation and/or recombination with a human virus, as in the influenza pandemic of 1918-1919, in which 500 million people were infected and 50 million died, including half a million in the United States, it is called an antigenic shift. …

But this is just a beginning, in that the evidence strongly suggests that we are at the threshold of a major shift in the antigenicity of not merely one but several categories of pathogens, for never have we observed among them such variety, richness, opportunities for combination, and alacrity to combine and mutate. HIV, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (mad cow), avian influenzas such as H5N1, and SARS are merely the advance patrols of a great army forming out of sight, the lightning that however silent and distant gives rise to the dread of an approaching storm—a storm for which we are entirely unprepared. How can that be? How can the richest country in the world, with its great institutions, experts, and learned commissions, have failed to make adequate preparation—when preparation is all—for epidemics with the potential of killing off large segments of its population?”

This illusion that the Boomers have been living through and which has come to be taken for granted as the new normal was merely a temporary triumph over infectious disease in the span of one lifetime. We don’t have to go much further back than the mid-20th century to find an America that had to deal with other deadly diseases like cholera, smallpox, malaria, yellow fever and polio. The Spanish Flu was caused by the H1N1 influenza virus after it jumped to humans and which after a century of passing through human hosts has evolved to become less lethal and more infectious.

The speech above by former Sen. Bill Frist calling for a new Manhattan Project to fight infectious disease in 2005 illustrates one of the worst flaws of the American system of liberal capitalist democracy. It is insanely biased toward the short term and against planning for known long term threats. Every politician concludes it won’t happen on his watch. Donald Trump had the misfortune of drawing the short straw at the worst possible time. So did other leaders around the world who have handled it better. It is not a conspiracy. On the contrary, it was something we knew for years was bound to happen.

About Hunter Wallace 9458 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent

37 Comments

  1. “This illusion that the Boomers have been living through and which has come to be taken for granted as the new normal was merely a temporary triumph over infectious disease in the span of one lifetime. We don’t have to go much further back than the mid-20th century to find an America that had to deal with other deadly diseases like cholera, smallpox, malaria, yellow fever and polio….”

    So true. The new normal is the old normal. Another excellent, accurate post!

    • Yes, it was very well put, wasn’t it. It’s reminiscent of Hunter in the early days of this blog, when he’d consistently produce work of that quality. Newer readers should do themselves a favor and check out those early years. These occasional flashes show he hasn’t lost that ability — when he puts his mind to something other than griping.

      (In fairness to him, we all have our vulnerabilities, and i think one of Hunter’s was that he was unduly affected by his disappointment with the WN movement IRL at a time when, on paper, it seemed to show much promise.)

  2. It will bring back Nationalism in a profound way. It’s blown out every assumption of liberal democracy

    • @Captain John…

      I hope you are right, Captain, I really do. That said, I observe that Progressives are equally convicted and strident in their belief that The Coronavirus is revealing to all the world the correctness of their positions on Climate Change, a need for stronger Federalism, and a vast array of other things.

      I see no new conclusions being reached on The Left about Globalism or Multiculturalism – just the old ones about the need to protect workers.

      Moreover, I do not think that The Average Joe is anywhere near so astute as you. No, Sir, all I think is in his mind is to get back to the status quo, just as quickly as quick can be.

      Hope I am wrong, however, and that you are right!

      I doubt it, though – because 2 months of suffering and inconveniences are not enough to change decades of unsober attitudes and habits.

    • “It will bring back Nationalism in a profound way.”

      Do you really believe ppl r that smart or independent in their thinking ?

      • Well, in the Daily Mail they are pointing out that BAME staff are threatening to leave the front services at the NHS. Last week it was all #nowyouclapforme this week it looks like the beginning of a disparate impact suit. Are these nogs wogs genetically and culturally vulnerable in. Away that whites are not? I say yes and they are saying yes. Admitting they cannot hack it with the virus. It’s really filtering through. Also the Captain Tom geezer. It’s all spitfires and flags again.

        I think whites are sick of the scum and can finally see it and are saying it.

    • It would only bring back nationalism if the costs imposed on big business by the virus negate the profits they take in from globalization. And I’m not really seeing that, especially since many of the costs will be taken care of by gov bailouts. They would sacrifice as many American lives as they need to and just bring in more foreigners if necessary, as long as it keeps them in the black and the CEO’s bonuses growing.

    • It’s blown out every assumption of liberal democracy

      I think whites are sick of the scum and can finally see it and are saying it.

      If whites are willing to bite their tongues during times of plenty, but let loose with some invective when the going gets tough, to me it indicates that they only take “anti-racism” semi-seriously. But that is a long way from blowing out every assumption of liberal democracy. When the crisis is over, they’ll go back to their old ways. Everyone knows someone “more racist” than themselves, so when shitlibs blame any social breakdowns on “racism,” they’ll just assume it’s those other, “real” racists they’re talking about.

  3. “”….We don’t know when an effective……. vaccine will be found….”””

    Unfortunately that we know and the proper answer is…never. The problem with those those H1 viruses are mutating so rapidly that antibodies, created by vaccine will not recognize mutated H! virus after short period and become useless. This is one mayor reason, why those “flu shots” are one big BS

    There will be never effective vaccine against H! viruses. Only way to fight back is let loose another virus, predator one which learn to kill every last new mutation. Like wolves learning to kill every last dog species farmer buy. With the self learning virus we have another problem. When the predator virus learn to kill new viruses, then this predator virus can learn something more what we may not like.

    This is long known fact and covering up such a simple truth is one of the reason, why is necessary to remain skeptical about current hysteria.

    Maybe we can start from the point that virus and bacteria are two completely different things. For example bacteria is a life form and everybody knows, how to take a life, especially genetic white liberals, Jews and immigrants.

    Virus is not very much alive, this thing is something between life and material and because of that , fighting with this thing is much more sophisticated. Bullets for example are also material. Can everybody create a vaccine what makes you immune to gun shot ?

    • “Virus is not very much alive, this thing is something between life and material”:

      Prion diseases, infectious proteins, are even less alive, more material, than RNA viruses like SARS. Chronic wasting prion disease is infecting more and more deer in this area, and thousands of hunters who ate CWD infected deer may die terrible deaths. The protein is very hard to “kill,” very resistant to heat and sunlight, and is spread through the fecal waste of carrion eaters, dropping on foliage that other deer eat. Another prion disease has even appeared in highly inbred commercial chickens.

  4. Most of those statistics above are so absurdly open to artificial pumping – which a train-load of Hunter-ignored whistle-blowers claim is happening – so the numbers can’t be taken seriously

    The only really illuminating number is if there is really and truly a long-term annual spike in the overall population death rate, not just the e.g., 11% spike for a few weeks in the ‘worst situations in the world’, like ‘highest death rate Belgium’ which is yet cheerfully staging the end of the lockdown along with others despite 7500 so-called ‘covid deaths’ in a nation of 11 million

    Hunter likes to repeat that old canard, How can there be such a big conspiracy? To which the answer is the same as always:

    – Even the most professional, credible whistle-blowers are ignored or worse by media, true on this as on 9/11 or whatever … any media-supported whistle-blowers are nearly always gov psy-ops, going back to ‘brave’ Jewish NY Times hero Ellsberg of the Pentagon Papers distracting from US Vietnam atrocities, followed by Watergate’s ‘brave Jewish reporter’ partnering with Woodward who was a Navy intel officer & aide to the Admiral heading the military Joint Chiefs …

    – Most people feel, correctly, that it’s dangerous for career to deviate, they know they need to go along or be crushed and slandered, and people like Hunter will never believe them

    – Very few countries in the world have truly independent freedom of action, they must go along with ‘international consensus’ as all the hell-hounds can be unleashed against them: Bond market, currency manipulation, coup d’état, closing the offshore bank accounts of the leadership etc

    • 9/11 was a small localized event.

      The sheer number of people required all over the world to pull off the “Plandemic” plot illustrates that is the dumbest conspiracy theory of all time. The world has never cooperated to that degree much less to promote an implausible conspiracy.

  5. “COVID-19 is going to go down in history as the deadliest pathogen to strike the United States since the Spanish Flu.”

    Not so fast.

    We don’t know the full extent of this.
    It might exceed the Spanish Flu.

  6. “Progress is an illusion.”

    Tell that to the many persons who’ve been saved by ventilators even in this impoverished, filthy, decaying, polyracial, socialist, capital-starved remnant of a country.

      • Well–still pretty good for an impoverished, filthy, decaying, polyracial, socialist, capital-starved remnant of a country. If the country hadn’t spent the past half-century voting itself to ruin, we could have beaten that problem, too.

        • Re: “socialist, capital-starved remnant”: The U.S. is not and has never been socialist, and it is moving now, along with its master Israel and their good allies (satellites) toward the most thoroughgoing capitalism in its history.

          Social democracy aka “democratic socialism” found in Venezuela, Nicaragua, etc. is not socialism either. China is on “a capitalist road to a socialist destination.” Only independent, unoccupied Korea (DPRK) is genuinely socialist, although with a cult of personality and in a permanent state of wartime emergency, always under attack by the U.S.

          • Yes, the U.S. is socialist, as I use that term. It’s not socialist in the narrow sense, in which the government is holding title to industrial and commercial assets; but it is socialist in that there is no right not to spend. The so-called public schools are socialism; the pseudo-private hospitals and medical-insurance companies are mere proxies for the government and thus are socialism, as are the nursing homes and related Medicare dumps. I’m sure we could go on.

            Personally, I dislike the term “socialism” even for socialism in the narrow sense, since there’s nothing social about it; but it’s out there and is useful shorthand, especially in a comment-section like this. The essence of socialism is the lack of a right not to spend, i.e., not to engage in exchange or donation; and the lack of that right can take many forms.

      • PS I don’t even know the meaning of “ventilator,” Mr. W. It’s just a term I’ve heard over the past few weeks and that, from stories in the idiotic mainstream media, I’d gathered is the name for a device that has been a big lifesaver in this epidemic. That should give you an idea of how little attention I’ve given this thing–or medical problems, in general, since they have nothing to do with the prudent, health-preserving life I’ve managed to live across two-thirds of a century even amid Teutons.

      • A couple of doctors on the West Coast have postulated that people die not from the virus itself, but from inflammation that the virus causes. According to them, it overstimulates the immune system, something like an extreme histamine reaction, and then attacks the body itself, This probably accounts for the fluid found around the hearts of people who have died from it; the body often produces excess fluid in response to inflammation. While Turkey still has a lot of cases, they aren’t getting many deaths because at the first sign of illness they treat the patient with hydroxychloroquine at their home. If they get worse, then they hospitalize them and give them an antiviral intravenously. We could open the country more while keeping people safer if doctors were able to prescribe HCQ from the start, rather than having to wait until the patient was at their last gasp.

  7. “Nature is always coming up with new ways to kill us.”

    It hasn’t come up with a new way to kill me, and I have no reason to expect it to. My robust immune system, which, basically, has never let me down, means this pandemic has my attention only because I have the standard, non-sociopath’s concern for others–or at least, for other Americans. Had the virus wiped out, say, the population of Iran, I would have had to suppress an unseemly glee.

    • Not to jinx you, but that reminds me of my barber’s attitude. He was 63 and would brag he’d never had the flu. Then in the space of three months the poor sonvabitch contracted a melanoma, shingles, and was finally done in by pneumonia.

      As for Iran, well, I wouldn’t be shedding any tears (and wouldn’t expect them to shed any for me), but I’ll save the champagne popping for the Dark Continent’s demise.

  8. Well, I guess you really needed the money. Maybe they will give you a job after this is over, perhaps at FEMA. They are hiring.

      • Thank you for posting the link to American Mind. I just finished reading the Bill Frist speech; sobering and horrifying is an understatement. Thank you!

        BTW, reading the words of a real statesman and leader like Bill Frist brings into focus just how impoverished and imbecilic our POTUS (most of them) have been lately. Neither Trump, Obama, or Biden come close to the level of intelligence and foresight as a Bill Frist. If I could “draft” Bill Frist in 2020 I would.

    • You realize that the bigger pricks and jackasses you “flu hoaxer” morons are, the more anyone normal is going to disagree with you, right?

      Your sneering, ridiculous, repulsively petty personal attacks and clown-like belligerence don’t bring anyone over to your side. It just makes us hate your guts and stick to our guns even stronger. See also “reverse psychology” and such.

      But that’s probably too complex a concept for you rabidly angry dullards to comprehend.

      “You catch more flies with logical arguments than frothing, champing, sophomoric, patently ridiculous personal accusations” is beyond you megatards.

      • Everyone to sone degree or another uses their denial to keep sane.

  9. Donald Trump had the misfortune of drawing the short straw at the worst possible time.

    He rode the wheel of fortune on the way up — Crooked Hillary, BLM, ISIS, and the cringing refusal of normiecons to challenge PC — and he might be riding it on the way down too.

    Then again, Sleepy Joe Biden — perhaps lightning will strike twice!

  10. If antibody tests are even remotely accurate, then pondering that this virus could have a 29% fatality rate is just emotional fear mongering. Of course, it’s much worse than the regular flu, but that means it’s something like .05% at its worst (and that’s the numbers for New York). Again if antibody tests are to be believed within some reason, then the official number of infected is completely meaningless. Pretending that we can test enough people, at a fast enough rate, to get a true picture of this virus is foolish. Only representative population antibody testing can do that.

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