HISTORY: The COVID-19 and Spanish Flu Pandemics, A Century Apart

As of April 28, 2020, in the U.S., 1,011,6000 people have tested positive for Covid-19 (Covid) with 58,343 deaths.

The 1918-1920 influenza pandemic (Spanish flu) killed 675,000 Americans. One of them was my grandmother Mary Ashby Warden Williams. Several weeks before she fell ill and suddenly died, her stepmother, Mary Lyde Hicks Williams (my great grandmother), a professional portrait painter, painted this portrait of Mary Ashby with her 18-month old daughter Charlotte (my mother) standing next to her. Mary Ashby died in January 1920 at the tail end of the pandemic, age 23. Her daughter endures and will be 102 in July.

My wife’s grandmother Agnes Posten, an Irish immigrant, also died in that pandemic, age 26.

More than 30 million Americans had the Spanish Flu in a  population of 105 million and with 675,000 deaths, a 2.3% fatality rate. “Fast forward” to today. The Director-General of the UN’s World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Ghebreyesus, an Ethiopian politician (and former leader of a terrorist group)—the first non-physician to head this body—declared that Covid-19 has a 3.4% mortality rate. With a rate this high Covid could kill many millions of people worldwide. This spawned a global panic. The Director-General, however, left out people who become infected with this virus, did not get tested and didn’t get sick. Up to 80% of people who test positive for Covid either have no symptoms or only mild ones imitating  a cold. Counting them in the equation, the mortality rate for Covid in Wuhan, China would be closer to 1.4% than 3.4%.

The 1918-20 influenza pandemic killed between 15 and 100 million people worldwide, 0.8% to 5.6% in a population of 1.8 billion (see here). Now, with the population 7.8 billion, one of comparable lethality could kill between 60 to 430 million people.

Read more at LewRockwell.com 

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