[This is a supplementary article. For a greater understanding of context, please read "The Unjust Condemnation of the Great Barrington Declaration." click here]
Never before in the history of public health has such a low magnitude of mortality been used to justify measures with such devastating consequences. When this article was published, the Covid-19 pandemic had produced over 5.1 million deaths, worldwide [click here]. While every death is tragic, it is important to understand the metre of precedent based on other pandemics from the past. Additionally, the sheer number of deaths attributed to a pandemic can be so overwhelming that the context of population size is not fully appreciated.
The UN's pre-pandemic report [World Population Prospects 2019; click here] projected 59.23 million global deaths for the year 2020. In the projection for 2099, the same figure more than doubles to 121.70 million, as the global population increases by the billions. Most of this increase in mortality can be attributed to population growth. Is the projection for 2020 any less tragic than the projection for 2099?
Similarly, when this article was published, the total number of COVID-related deaths in the US was over 793,000 [click here]. A loss of life is always dreadful, and its significance should never be downplayed. Anyone who loses a loved one is going to be heartbroken over their loss. This is true whether SARS-CoV-2 is the cause of death or whether it's the H1N1 strain of influenza, the strain that caused the 1918 pandemic, an infection which remains endemic to this day. However, if Estonia had lost as many people to the Covid-19 pandemic as did the US, they would have lost more than half their population of 1.3 million people [click here].
The context of population size is paramount to comprehending the significance of a death toll, particularly in the case of a global event like a pandemic.
The H3N2 pandemic of 1968, "Hong Kong flu," was estimated to have killed between one and four million people worldwide [pg 19; click here] when the global population was just shy of 3,552 million (i.e., 3.552 billion; click here). At the time of this publication, the global population was over 7,898 million [.worldometers.info/world-population/]. Population adjusted, the death toll of the 1968 event would be comparable to a range of over 2.2 to 8.8 million deaths today.
(7898/3552 * 1 = 2.2235)
(7898/3552 * 4 = 8.8941)
The H2N2 pandemic of 1957, "Asian flu," was estimated to have killed between one and four million people worldwide [pg 19; click here] when the global population was just shy of 2,874 million [click here]. Population adjusted, the death toll of the 1957 event would be comparable to a range of over 2.7 to 10.9 million deaths today.
(7898/2874 * 1 = 2.7481)
(7898/2874 * 4 = 10.9923)
The H1N1 pandemic of 1918, "Spanish flu," was estimated to have killed between 25 and 100 million people worldwide [click here]. The CDC used to estimate 50-100 million deaths which were attributed to the pandemic but has since revised its estimate to "at least 50 million" [click here]. However, the 100 million figure is a distinct possibility [click here]. It is difficult to find a reliable figure for the global population in 1918. However, the population was 1,600 million in the year of 1900, and it was 2,000 million in 1927 [click here]. It's safe to say that the population in 1918 was less than 2,000 million, and this figure can be used for a conservative estimate. Population adjusted, the death toll of the H1N1 pandemic, in 1918, would be comparable to a range of over 98.7 to 394.9 million deaths today.
(7898/2000 * 25 = 98.7250)
(7898/2000 * 100 = 394.9000)
The mitigation strategies utilized in the 1957 and 1968 events did not have the same impact on society as the ones that were implemented in the wake of Covid-19. In fact, most of the people who were old enough to remember a significant event at the time (tweens, teens and older groups) do not have a substantial recollection of these events. Many people who remember where they were when JFK was assassinated (1963) do not remember the 1968 pandemic. The mitigation strategies which were utilized for the coronavirus pandemic will likely be ingrained into the memories of practically anyone who is alive five or six decades from now.
It would appear as if a threshold was significantly lowered here--the magnitude of mortality [per capita] that is required to justify such a radical approach to pandemic relief, namely lockdowns and vaccine mandates. Pandemic vaccine mandates are a new encroachment on personal liberty, an encroachment that was not imposed in 1957 when vaccines were available. According to Smithsonian Magazine, inoculating less than one-fifth of the population prevented 91% of would-be "Asian flu" deaths in the United States [click here]. Even if the figures from the 1957 and 1968 events are not adjusted to reflect population growth, the higher end of these estimates (4 million global deaths) are still on a par with Covid-19 estimates (currently 5.1 million global deaths).
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