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You know what went away after two years?

I try not to make the mistake of relying on first-hand experience -- or third or fourth hand, for that matter. It's a bit like observing the world through a keyhole, and assuming whatever happened to pass in front of that view is representative of the wider world. We all have very limited personal experience, since we all only live as a single person. And even if we collect experiences of friends and family, many of them will have the same restrictions of experience as we have (e.g., a disproportionate share of my family members and social circles are highly educated Korean Americans living in the urban parts of the Northeast US, which isn't exactly a representative sampling). So, rather than judging by whatever happens to be in the line of sight of my little keyhole view of the world, I judge by statistical evidence whenever I can.
You didn't answer my question.
 
The Spanish Flu spread like wildfire -- made worse by a world war, at the time. Around 50 million died, including 675,000 in the US. That makes it about three times as deadly, in per capita terms, as COVID has been so far. And that's all the more remarkable when you consider just how much younger the country was at the time. Half of Americans were in their early 20's or before, back then, versus the median age being almost 40 now.

So, naturally, once that pandemic had burned through the vulnerable part of the population, it faded away, with the survivors having resistance that would make future similar strains less deadly. And COVID would do the same if we let it burn through the population. If we were content to lose another 1.4 million Americans to the disease, or so, it would then go away on its own.

Or we can, instead, use our brains and get it under control with vaccines and other counter-measures. And there's every reason to think that can work. Massachusetts, for example, has one of the nation's highest vaccination rates, and so, despite High population density and median age, it has managed to get this thing under control. In fact, it's been running negative excess mortality in 2021 -- in other words, fewer people have been dying than in a typical year. And the economy has gotten back to normal, with unemployment rates below 5%.
A very interesting Spanish flu narrative and the exact one that motivated this thread. I'd only quibble with the surprise that the young got sick. My great uncle died in the middle of nowhere High up North in the midwest. He was only 19 or 20. The only one to die in the family. The family quarantined him from others but couldn't keep his sweetheart away. She lived. Usually these diseases go after the very young and the very old.

I do find it interesting that excess mortality is down in Massachusets. In April of 2020 I downloaded the Florida mortality data and did find excess deaths for the early months before you could attribute anything to delayed care (i.e. cancer). Your declined mortality rate might well be due to the fact so many end of life cases of Covid killed last year and those people aren't dying this year, right? But that is just a mess really because people do die on the road and they certainly did a lot less driving last year and probably still a bit less this year.
 
Some more background:

In 1918, a novel strand of influenza killed more people than the 14th century’s Black Plague.

At least 50 million people died worldwide because of that H1N1 influenza outbreak. The dead were buried in mass graves. In Philadelphia, one of the hardest-hit cities in the country, priests collected bodies with horse-drawn carriages....

...But the strand of the flu didn’t just disappear. The influenza virus continuously mutated, passing through humans, pigs and other mammals. The pandemic-level virus morphed into just another seasonal flu. Descendants of the 1918 H1N1 virus make up the influenza viruses we’re fighting today.

“The 1918 flu is still with us, in that sense,” said Ann Reid, the executive director of the National Center for Science Education who successfully sequenced the genetic makeup of the 1918 influenza virus in the 1990s. “It never went away.”...

...Experts say there’s this natural progression where a virus often — but not always — becomes less lethal as time wears on. It’s in the best interest of the virus for it to spread before killing the host.

“The natural order of an influenza virus is to change,” Barry told The Post. “It seems most likely that it simply mutated in the direction of other influenza viruses, which is considerably milder.”



How the 1918 flu pandemic ended, according to historians and medical experts - The Washington Post


Food for thought.
Some more background:

In 1918, a novel strand of influenza killed more people than the 14th century’s Black Plague.

At least 50 million people died worldwide because of that H1N1 influenza outbreak. The dead were buried in mass graves. In Philadelphia, one of the hardest-hit cities in the country, priests collected bodies with horse-drawn carriages....

...But the strand of the flu didn’t just disappear. The influenza virus continuously mutated, passing through humans, pigs and other mammals. The pandemic-level virus morphed into just another seasonal flu. Descendants of the 1918 H1N1 virus make up the influenza viruses we’re fighting today.

“The 1918 flu is still with us, in that sense,” said Ann Reid, the executive director of the National Center for Science Education who successfully sequenced the genetic makeup of the 1918 influenza virus in the 1990s. “It never went away.”...

...Experts say there’s this natural progression where a virus often — but not always — becomes less lethal as time wears on. It’s in the best interest of the virus for it to spread before killing the host.

“The natural order of an influenza virus is to change,” Barry told The Post. “It seems most likely that it simply mutated in the direction of other influenza viruses, which is considerably milder.”



How the 1918 flu pandemic ended, according to historians and medical experts - The Washington Post


Food for thought.
Except covid isn't the Spanish flu, so any comparisons are flawed.
 
Except covid isn't the Spanish flu, so any comparisons are flawed.
READ...

Ans: The Spanish Flu of 1918.

They had no vaccines nor therapeutics. Just masks, cleanliness, and far less immediate global travel. And after two years the deadly flu became more transmissible and far less lethal. Nine out of ten viral epidemics do just that.

Here we are in the second year and the question is up in the air as to which way Covid will go. If it stays it will be because the vaccines drove more deadly variants. Every vaccinated person is turning out to be a potential Typhoid Mary.
 
READ...

Ans: The Spanish Flu of 1918.

They had no vaccines nor therapeutics. Just masks, cleanliness, and far less immediate global travel. And after two years the deadly flu became more transmissible and far less lethal. Nine out of ten viral epidemics do just that.
It purely wishful thinking to think covid will just go away.
 

Zam-Zam

Senator
Except covid isn't the Spanish flu, so any comparisons are flawed.
No such claim was made.

However, as in anything, some things are similar and some are different. I believe it would be foolish to dismiss the notion of learning from past pandemics out of hand, and I am confident that the folks at the CDC are not inclined to do that.
 

Mina Park

Council Member
What do Iceland, Sweden and Israel tell you about Covid.
Iceland tells me that one of the most isolated and insular communities on the planet, with very low population density, has a lot of options the rest of the world doesn't.

Sweden tells me that even if a country is in Scandinavia, where most nations did extremely well in weathering the virus, dumb policy can still make for disaster.

As for Israel, it tells me nothing, since they have a tendency to ignore the parts of the territory they control that are subject to criminal occupation, so it's really hard to know what's going on there.

Anyway, the most telling of those three is Sweden. When they avoided lockdowns, experts warned they'd suffer for it, and they arrogantly insisted they wouldn't. Now we know the experts were right. They've lost 1,441 people per million to the pandemic. Norway, Finland, and Demark lost 151, 187, and 449 per million, respectively.

Imagine if Sweden had merely managed to do as well as the median of their three close neighbors. There'd be about 13,000 more Swedes alive today. Think of it this way: if their leader had quit the government, joined Al Qaeda, masterminded the hijacking of airliners, which he had his jihadists then fly into buildings, with four times the death toll Osama Bin Laden managed, that STILL would have caused fewer deaths than his decision to forego lockdown. His leadership was an unimaginably massive tragedy for the nation.

The only saving grace for the Swedes is that although they were imbeciles about lockdowns, they haven't been about vaccines/ They've gotten vaccinated at about the same rate as their neighbors. So, they're doing OK this year, with the catastrophe having mostly been last year.
 
Iceland tells me that one of the most isolated and insular communities on the planet, with very low population density, has a lot of options the rest of the world doesn't.

Sweden tells me that even if a country is in Scandinavia, where most nations did extremely well in weathering the virus, dumb policy can still make for disaster.

As for Israel, it tells me nothing, since they have a tendency to ignore the parts of the territory they control that are subject to criminal occupation, so it's really hard to know what's going on there.

Anyway, the most telling of those three is Sweden. When they avoided lockdowns, experts warned they'd suffer for it, and they arrogantly insisted they wouldn't. Now we know the experts were right. They've lost 1,441 people per million to the pandemic. Norway, Finland, and Demark lost 151, 187, and 449 per million, respectively.

Imagine if Sweden had merely managed to do as well as the median of their three close neighbors. There'd be about 13,000 more Swedes alive today. Think of it this way: if their leader had quit the government, joined Al Qaeda, masterminded the hijacking of airliners, which he had his jihadists then fly into buildings, with four times the death toll Osama Bin Laden managed, that STILL would have caused fewer deaths than his decision to forego lockdown. His leadership was an unimaginably massive tragedy for the nation.

The only saving grace for the Swedes is that although they were imbeciles about lockdowns, they haven't been about vaccines/ They've gotten vaccinated at about the same rate as their neighbors. So, they're doing OK this year, with the catastrophe having mostly been last year.
I appreciate the time you took. I read it all. I just couldn't disagree more about your intrepretations of the facts. Hope to see you around some.
 

Mina Park

Council Member
A very interesting Spanish flu narrative and the exact one that motivated this thread. I'd only quibble with the surprise that the young got sick. My great uncle died in the middle of nowhere High up North in the midwest. He was only 19 or 20. The only one to die in the family. The family quarantined him from others but couldn't keep his sweetheart away. She lived. Usually these diseases go after the very young and the very old.

I do find it interesting that excess mortality is down in Massachusets. In April of 2020 I downloaded the Florida mortality data and did find excess deaths for the early months before you could attribute anything to delayed care (i.e. cancer). Your declined mortality rate might well be due to the fact so many end of life cases of Covid killed last year and those people aren't dying this year, right? But that is just a mess really because people do die on the road and they certainly did a lot less driving last year and probably still a bit less this year.
I'd wondered whether the decline in excess mortality in MA might just be because COVID killed a bunch of people early when it tore through in April 2020, and then they weren't around to die after that, pushing down the numbers. However, the math doesn't work out to support that case.

If you look at the percentage of excess mortality by state, through the end of July 2021, the worst states, as you might expect, are Arizona and Texas, where far-right governments took an objectively pro-virus stance, with catastrophic impact for their people. Specifically, their observed mortality in 2020 and in 2021 through July was about 22%. Massachusetts, meanwhile, is under 10%... 14th lowest in the country, and falling.

Basically, excess mortality spiked sky-High in the first few months of the pandemic in Massachusetts (peaking at 24% the week of 5/23/20), then fell for so long that it came down to less than half what it is in the worst-managed states. So, it's more than just those first few months clearing out the deadwood.

Anyway, generally speaking the hardest-hit states were higher density states -- like New Jersey, which is our densest state. Densely settled communities are a really inviting context for transmission. And low-density states generally did better (ME, AK, NH, NE). But that's what makes MA particularly impressive. It's very High density, but has done a good job keeping a lid on the pandemic. In effect, it was playing the pandemic game with the difficulty level cranked near maximum, yet still scored well.
 
The answer is that I didn't learn of it through my family. I learned of it through research. You?
Just curious. Since TV and the internet, I wonder how much knowledge is still passed from generation to generation.

My grandmothers lived through it, my paternal grandmother said, as did others of the time, that it was vaccine induced - she cited Liecester, which over 40 yrs later I chased up. Hard to find the info now but it does seem that many died via vaccines there so they refused them for many years to come.
 

Mina Park

Council Member
Just curious. Since TV and the internet, I wonder how much knowledge is still passed from generation to generation.

My grandmothers lived through it, my paternal grandmother said, as did others of the time, that it was vaccine induced - she cited Liecester, which over 40 yrs later I chased up. Hard to find the info now but it does seem that many died via vaccines there so they refused them for many years to come.
I know that in the very early history of vaccines, they posed a fairly serious danger -- though typically a significantly lower danger than the danger they were averting. For example, one batch of the Salk polio vaccine had some improperly inactivated viruses, resulting in a number of recipients getting the virus as a result of the vaccine. Yet, even then, statistically people were far better off with the vaccine, and it proved a decisive step for taking the virus from being a common childhood ailment to being virtually unknown in the developed world.

The good news is that the mRNA vaccines don't even have any virus in them, so they can't infect anyone with COVID. They just give your body a recipe for manufacturing some proteins that are markers for the virus, so your body can learn to kill the virus without ever being exposed to it. Plus, modern vaccine manufacturing is vastly more precise, with terrific safety protocols, such that with literally billions of doses, there have been only a handful of bad batches... it's to the point you're more likely to die driving to get vaccinated than die of the vaccine. Meanwhile, it's proven to be remarkably effective at lowering your risk of getting a serious case of COVID, as well as lowering your risk of transmitting the virus to others.
 
I know that in the very early history of vaccines, they posed a fairly serious danger -- though typically a significantly lower danger than the danger they were averting. For example, one batch of the Salk polio vaccine had some improperly inactivated viruses, resulting in a number of recipients getting the virus as a result of the vaccine. Yet, even then, statistically people were far better off with the vaccine, and it proved a decisive step for taking the virus from being a common childhood ailment to being virtually unknown in the developed world.

The good news is that the mRNA vaccines don't even have any virus in them, so they can't infect anyone with COVID. They just give your body a recipe for manufacturing some proteins that are markers for the virus, so your body can learn to kill the virus without ever being exposed to it. Plus, modern vaccine manufacturing is vastly more precise, with terrific safety protocols, such that with literally billions of doses, there have been only a handful of bad batches... it's to the point you're more likely to die driving to get vaccinated than die of the vaccine. Meanwhile, it's proven to be remarkably effective at lowering your risk of getting a serious case of COVID, as well as lowering your risk of transmitting the virus to others.
I disagree with you absolutely and completly.
 
Some more background:

In 1918, a novel strand of influenza killed more people than the 14th century’s Black Plague.

At least 50 million people died worldwide because of that H1N1 influenza outbreak. The dead were buried in mass graves. In Philadelphia, one of the hardest-hit cities in the country, priests collected bodies with horse-drawn carriages....

...But the strand of the flu didn’t just disappear. The influenza virus continuously mutated, passing through humans, pigs and other mammals. The pandemic-level virus morphed into just another seasonal flu. Descendants of the 1918 H1N1 virus make up the influenza viruses we’re fighting today.

“The 1918 flu is still with us, in that sense,” said Ann Reid, the executive director of the National Center for Science Education who successfully sequenced the genetic makeup of the 1918 influenza virus in the 1990s. “It never went away.”...

...Experts say there’s this natural progression where a virus often — but not always — becomes less lethal as time wears on. It’s in the best interest of the virus for it to spread before killing the host.

“The natural order of an influenza virus is to change,” Barry told The Post. “It seems most likely that it simply mutated in the direction of other influenza viruses, which is considerably milder.”



How the 1918 flu pandemic ended, according to historians and medical experts - The Washington Post


Food for thought.
Stomped Out by a Carbon Footprint

Well, that didn't happen with the bubonic plague. It came back again and again, as lethal as before. So would have the Spanish Influenza.

Contemporary scientists are programmed to believe that no level of "pollution" can actually be beneficial. Your expert takes the easiest explanation for the disappearance of the killer influenza because she doesn't know any better.
 
Last edited:

middleview

President
Supporting Member
But did the monkey have exposure to DDT? Or any number of other such things that could open up a pathway from the alimentary canal and into the body. Right. That's the medicine question I saw proposed by a cogent professional. What did you see?
Are you suggesting there was no evidence of polio before DDT was invented?



DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane) was developed as the first of the modern synthetic insecticides in the 1940s.

 
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