These aren’t normal times.
I know a lot of readers miss my history articles. I’m focused squarely on the present at the moment because we are witnessing a historic event playing out.
“I’ve noticed that people’s sense of time, including my own, is all messed up.
A comparison: in the US, the number of Cov-19 deaths has gone from about 300 to ~95,000 in two months.
The 1918 flu: First noticed on March 11, Fort Riley. Maybe a few hundred deaths in the spring of 1918. Really took off in September (12,000 deaths) – six months later, not two. …”
The Spanish Flu was the deadliest epidemic in American history.
In the first wave of the Spanish Flu, only a few hundred people died in the United States. The outbreak was spotty. It is only with the benefit of hindsight that we know New York City was hit in the spring of 1918. The flu seemed a little worse than usual but it was nothing remarkable at the time. By comparison, the spring wave of COVID-19 has killed nearly 100,000 Americans in two months.
“As data has crept in over the past few months, it has become incontrovertibly clear what we already kind of knew since the Princess Diamond days – that IFR is ~1%.
Consequently, unless Corona mortality “hotspots” were a figment of our collective imaginations, the percentage of people who have been infected with the novel coronavirus in most places around the world, even in hard-hit countries, are still in the single digit percentage points (often low single digit). Outside a few towns in Northern Italy, the hallowed “herd immunity” is still a mirage. …
The case for low spread coupled with IFR = ~1% is now overwhelming.
Incidentally, 1% is what I estimated in the earliest days (Jan 29). I likewise firmly dismissed the theories based on underpowered/unrepresentative initial seroprevalence tests (most notable the Stanford study) that a large part, or most, of many European and American populations had already been infected that were in vogue in March/April.
I will subsequently not waste words on caveats or substantiation when using this 1% figure.”
Once again, I can’t stress enough that at this point into the Spanish Flu no one saw the train coming. There wasn’t a month long lockdown to stop the spread much less 100,000 deaths. Even at this stage, this is already worse than that. Most people don’t understand the gravity of the situation.
Is there anything else in history which has killed so many Americans in such a short period of time? Smallpox? Cholera? Tuberculosis? Typhoid fever? Polio? Yellow fever? Malaria? HIV? I’m drawing blanks. Maybe the Columbian exchange with American Indians. This certainly hasn’t happened since the Spanish Flu. The 1957 and 1968 pandemics didn’t kill this many people in such a short period of time.
I know people are sick and tired of hearing about the coronavirus. You have a front row seat though to watch one of the biggest events in American history. This is going to kill more Americans than WW1 and maybe even more than the Spanish Flu. I call that a pretty big deal.