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Comparing the Wuhan flu with the 1968 Hong Kong flu

Link here.

The Hong Kong flu killed about twice as many people in the U.S. as COVID-19 has so far, and it did this for a population about a third smaller (200 million vs 328 million), meaning that its deadliness was even worse. Yet:

Nothing closed. Schools stayed open. All businesses did too. You could go to the movies. You could go to bars and restaurants. John Fund has a friend who reports having attended a Grateful Dead concert. In fact, people have no memory or awareness that the famous Woodstock concert of August 1969 – planned in January during the worse period of death – actually occurred during a deadly American flu pandemic that only peaked globally six months later. There was no thought given to the virus which, like ours today, was dangerous mainly for a non-concert-going demographic.

Stock markets didn’t crash. Congress passed no legislation. The Federal Reserve did nothing. Not a single governor acted to enforce social distancing, curve flattening (even though hundreds of thousands of people were hospitalized), or banning of crowds. No mothers were arrested for taking their kids to other homes. No surfers were arrested. No daycares were shut even though there were more infant deaths with this virus than the one we are experiencing now. There were no suicides, no unemployment, no drug overdoses.

Essentially, life went on. Except for a few people who took some precautions, mostly in connection with older and already sick individuals, everyone took little notice, recognizing that — just like COVID-19 — the Hong Kong flu was not threat to them, and that the best way to beat it was to allow the young and healthy to get it, recover, and thus develop an immunity that would limit its spread to the old and vulnerable.

The result was that the Hong Kong was a blip to society, hardly remembered today, and never a problem. Sadly the situation today is different. Because we decided to panic, we have essentially destroyed our economy and our future freedom. Behaviors that are simply absurd (wearing masks all the time and never getting closer than six feet to anyone else) are becoming socially required.

And the idea that a government can bankrupt business and harass women and children, at will, has now become acceptable.

It will be a long time before a people will ever be as free as Americans once were.

Conscious Choice cover

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


  • Dave

    You imply that cultural changes between 1968 and today are to blame, but that doesn’t explain why *every* country affected by COVID-19 has gone into nation-wide lockdown, starting with China. Except South Korea, which developed an accurate test, and we’ll see how long Sweden holds out.

    As bad as the Hong Kong Flu may have been, it *was* just a flu. Why haven’t we treated flu patients with anti-malarial drugs before? Probably because they don’t work on flus, but they do work on COVID-19, which seems to behave more like a blood disease than a respiratory infection.

  • Alvinza

    When reading your article, I was thinking of 1968 and imagining what the public reaction might have been to the government restrictions. Maybe slightly more un-cooperative?

    Keep up the entertaining work!

  • Phill O

    One must remember how this overreach started.
    1 The USA is in a trade war with China – anything to make China look bad
    2 President Trump is at war with the left. – ANYTHING to make president Trump look bad is fair game.
    3 The leftist lean of most government employees is well known
    4 All international organizations tend, over time, to be dominated by the left
    5 The Trump administration has to show they are doing everything possible to reduce the death toll because one death and the media is all over them. A catch-22

    The outcome will be that when a real health threat comes (say GMO smallpox or anthrax) we will not do this lockdown ever again – Crying WOLF has unintended consequences

  • Cotour

    What does this mean in todays world?

    1. We are much softer and we now live more in fear.

    2. This virus is actually a level above what was before and needs an extra level of caution?

    3. We are purposefully being weakened and bankrupted so as to raze what was in order to build a new? (But rebuilt in whos model?)

    I think who is elected president in 2020 will properly answer these above questions.

  • Call Me Ishmael

    “And the idea that a government can bankrupt business and harass women and children, at will, has now become acceptable.”

    I’m rather more optimistic. As Phil O says above, I think it will be harder to do the next time. Crying “WOLF” has consequences.

  • Shaun

    Call Me Ishmael

    I hope that’s true but my fear is that this is setting a precedent that will be drawn on in the future.

  • Edward

    Dave wrote: “You imply that cultural changes between 1968 and today are to blame, but that doesn’t explain why *every* country affected by COVID-19 has gone into nation-wide lockdown, starting with China.

    Worldwide lockdown may have to do with the World Health Organization’s horrific leadership on COVID-19.

  • Andrew_W

    I see the site The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which had lowered it’s projected US deaths to 61,000 has now revised that number up to 72,400 (range 59,343 – 114,228). No way is there going to be so few US deaths as that 72,400 figure.

    America has demonstrated that the country is unable to knock transmission down as other Western countries have, there’s no nationwide spirit of unity with determination to beat this enemy, so yes, the lockdowns are proven ineffective at adequately impeding transmission. I suspect voluntary measures will also prove ineffective. So barring I-don’t-know-what the virus will keep going through the US population at a fatality rate of something close to 1%.

    I’m still expecting that the rest of the first world will be able to keep R0 below 1 for the months necessary to get infection rates down to the point at which elimination with expanded testing and tracking will be possible, many middle income countries also. The poorer countries, and those with major ghettos will, like the US, just have to let it run its course.

  • Andrew_W

    1. We are much softer and we now live more in fear.
    As we become wealthier we place a higher monetary value on human lives, it’s that simple.

    2. This virus is actually a level above what was before and needs an extra level of caution?
    It’s more contagious than the 1918 Spanish flu, which raises it’s R0 value in comparison so, if left to run its course, more will be infected before herd immunity is reached, but it kills a smaller fraction of the population. I suspect if this virus had been the virus of 1918 the toll would have been similar to the Spanish flu.

    3. We are purposefully being weakened and bankrupted so as to raze what was in order to build a new? (But rebuilt in whos model?)
    Western countries that beat this virus will end their states or emergency and only the previously existing laws will remain.

  • Andrew_W

    “states of emergency . . .”

  • wayne

    “Useful Idiots”
    BBC podcast 2010

    “Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them.”
    George Orwell

  • Andrew_W

    “Useful Idiots”

    Since that’s directed at me I’ll address it.

    I have no faith in the integrity or goodness of politicians, I appreciate that they look after themselves firstly. What I do have confidence in is Western electoral systems and that voters will use their voting power to also look after themselves first.

    The useful idiots in Western countries are the fools that become enamored by particular political leaders or particular political parties and vote for them never questioning their particular idols – never questioning the political animals that have become their heroes. Such heroes can be of the (traditional) left or right, they can be Stalin’s or Pinochet’s, Hillary’s or Donald’s.

    Watch out for the loyal unquestioning Democrat and the loyal unquestioning Republican, that’s where you’ll find your useful idiot Wayne.

  • Cotour

    Self interest, everyone works in their own self interests. And there is not one thing wrong with that, it is the essence of survival in the real world. First take care of yourself, if not you can not help or take care of anyone else.

    You just have got to be able to properly understand what it is that lies at the foundation of your long term and short term self interests. And this is where the psychological manipulation in politics flourishes and grows.

    That being said at some point in the political process a side and a choice must be made. Its just that simple. Choose a side and a candidate or party, or choose to do nothing. Any one of the three choices are viable strategies.

    And never trust any of them in politics absolutely, for in that blind allegiance lies corruption, abuse of power and all of our destruction. Always be ready to make any politician who disappoints or says one thing and then does the exact opposite pay a very high price for treacherous actions.

    Every one and all of them, the public must instill that fear in ALL of their representatives, Barr none.

  • Rose

    Some news stories are touting last Friday (1 May) as having the biggest biggest one-day US death toll to date at 2,909, citing WHO SitRep 102: (See table pg. 7.)

    Andrew, assuming you can spare time from your daily readings of the Chairman’s Little Red Book ;^), can you figure out why that differs so much from US sources which are giving numbers 1K+ less for that day? Conversely, the WHO sitrep gives a US cumulative death toll of 55,337 which is significantly lower than most US sources (by up to 10K, depending the source), so it’s not as if WHO is consistently inflating US figures. I assume it is an artifact of some reporting change or the addition of previously missed figures, but I’ve not been able to figure it out.

  • Andrew_W

    Rose, I had a look at the WHO Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Reports 98 through to 102
    Report, date, US total deaths and daily deaths:

    I put it down to them not getting full and coordinated reports from whatever US organization does the reporting to them.

  • Andrew_W

    There’s probably a time-of-day issue there as well:
    WHO: “Data as received by WHO from national authorities by 10:00 CEST”
    Worldometer: The day is reset after midnight GMT+0.

  • Phill O

    Cotour made the comment about this generation being soft. I agree. Here is something to think about: Tough people

    Perspective for all to think about.
    “Imagine you were born in 1900. On your 14th birthday, World War I starts, and ends on your 18th birthday 22 million people perish in that war. Later in the year, a Spanish Flu epidemic hits the planet and runs until your 20th birthday. 50 million people die from it in those two years. Yes, 50 million. On your 29th birthday, the Great Depression begins. Unemployment hits 25%, the World GDP drops 27%. That runs until you are 33. The country nearly collapses along with the world economy. When you turn 39, World War II starts. You aren’t even over the hill yet. And don’t try to catch your breath. On your 41st birthday, the United States is fully pulled into WWII. Between your 39th and 45th birthday, 75 million people perish in the war. At 50, the Korean War starts. 5 million perish. At 55 the Vietnam War begins and doesn’t end for 20 years. 4 million people perish in that conflict. On your 62nd birthday you have the Cuban Missile Crisis, a tipping point in the Cold War Life on our planet, as we know it, should have ended. When you turn 75, the Vietnam War finally ends. Think of everyone on the planet born in 1900. How do you survive all of that? When you were a kid in 1985 and didn’t think your 85 year old grandparent understood how hard school was; or how mean that kid in your class was. Yet they survived through everything listed above.
    Perspective is an amazing art, refined as time goes on, and enlightening like you wouldn’t believe. Let’s try and keep things in perspective.”

    Also, consider the Jews of Europe during the Nazi rule of Germany. Your race is being actively put to extinction!

  • Cotour

    Anyone who asks for some perspective I tell them:

    1. No one in America today should be complaining about ANYTHING, we truly live in a fantasy world. You are correct, this is the most peaceful time on the planet for human beings in the last probably 9000 years.

    2. And never watch broadcast or cable news, listen to a wide variety of talk radio, the more conservative kind and get your news and perspective there.

    3. The media / “journalists” as a general rule are not your friends America.

  • WHG

    I was twenty and a sophomore at the university when i came down with the Hong Kong Flu, I spent a night at the university infirmary with a temperature of 104. The next morning my temperature had dropped to 101. The doctor told me that was low enough and sent me back to by dorm room. My roommate was not a happy camper. :)

  • R7 Rocket

    Once again, Andrew_W promotes fake mortality rates again. Maybe if Andrew_W’s heros, Nipples Cuomo and Bill DiCommio, keep committing murder and count the murders as “COVID19,” he’ll get the death rate he wants.

  • Jason Hillyer

    Mr. Zimmerman, I hate to badger you with questions, but you seem like the only person right now with seemingly reliable information about this virus.

    My question is why am I not hearing anything about these antibody tests from local and Federal governments? Trump said, just today, that the death toll would be closer to 1-2 million if the country hadn’t done the things it did (travel bans, lockdowns, etc). Do they not trust the results of the antibody tests or do you think they are unaware that they exist (unlikely)?

    Thanks, as always.

  • R7 Rocket

    @Jason Hillyer

    It’s probably due to a power struggle between President Trump and the Harvard priesthood. Trump has to deal with the criminals in the FBI/DOJ first before he can defy the high priests of Harvard (example: Dr. Fauci).

  • Phill O

    Jason Hillyer Serology is difficult with the Corona viruses according to an certain pathologist of my acquaintance. This is one of the problems of getting an “Effective” vaccine.

    Immuno-assays (used in serology) have a tendency to false positives also, and are semi-quantitative at best. It takes a highly skilled analyst to get reliable concentrations with radio-immuno-assays, but, however, they can be very sensitive. We developed (adapted from a milk method) a radio-immuno-assay for chloramphenicol resides in honey to sub part per billion levels. Seems the Chinese were the cause of those residues and their honey was banned (for about 2yr) from North America due to the residues. Chloramphenicol use was banned from Europe and North America due to its affects on the liver.

  • Edward

    Phill O and Call Me Ishmael,
    It is more than just crying wolf, it is the consequences to the lockdown, too.

    We are learning consequences to lockdowns, and we Americans don’t like them. We are learning that they are worse than the problem that they are meant to solve, and that they are hard to exit. Three weeks becomes a month and a half, becomes two and a half months, and maybe even longer. The longer the lockdown, the worse the consequences.

    The World Trade Organization is now predicting that due to the worldwide lockdown, there may be more starvation deaths than lives saved. Right there the solution is worse than the problem. Shutting down economies results in unintended consequences, including messing up the supply lines that food producers rely upon and that food distribution depends upon. It has been a long time since a famine was due to a lack of food in the world, because they have been due to a lack of ability to get that food to where it is needed. (If we could save from starvation just one life then wouldn’t it be worth ending the worldwide lockdown? That is de Blazio’s logic.)

    An additional consequence is the loss of businesses and the associated jobs. Many businesses that fail during the lockdown will be noticed by the public when we exit lockdown. We know that there are failing businesses because of the tales we are hearing of owners being arrested for opening their businesses before the lockdown orders are rescinded. These owners are so desperate that they concluded that they might as well risk arrest, because if they don’t open up their businesses then their livelihoods and employees’s livelihoods are gone anyway. The next time, business owners are unlikely to obey lockdown, because they know the likely outcome as well as the likely futility of the exercise.

    As the lockdown continues, more and more people will start to realize that they are unable to get small health problems checked out, and that these small problems are growing into large problems. How many conditions, such as cancers, are not being detected in a timely manner because of our stupid lockdown? How much delay in treatments and detections will there be once the healthcare system reopens? How much of the healthcare system will be permanently lost due to insolvency resulting from the lockdown?

    What is more are government reactions to the people’s reactions. The idiotic California governor, Newsom, has ordered state beaches and parks be closed, because there were photographs of people at the open beaches — visibly obeying the social distancing rules. So, now those people are going to have to crowd themselves into their local parks, making it harder to observe social distancing rules. We are healthy, and this lockdown feels like prison. The beach closure is just as stupid as the public buses and trains cutting their frequency in response to social distancing — fewer buses and trains means that those riding New York’s subways to their essential jobs are packed that much closer together.

    The day that they shut down Santa Clara County, the county officials said that they knew that they were asking us to do something very hard to do. Although they didn’t say it this way, they knew they asked us to stop living our lives. Somehow, our nation’s governors do not seem to understand that this is so very hard to do, that the result is not only lost quality of life today, but our lack of income and activity harms our futures as well. Lockdown was only supposed to last three weeks, but they, all of whom are employed and active, kept extending our sacrifice and the harm as though no sacrifice or harm exists. To them, quantity of life is more important than quality of life — tens of millions of Americans are living lives as though they are in a vegetative state, draining their life savings with each passing week.

    We were fooled into doing something for the greater good, but it turned out to be bad for ourselves and bad for the greater good.

    The governing bodies having called wolf, this time, is certainly going to increase our skepticism the next time. We all know that the facts on the ground are different than they were seven weeks ago, when the San Francisco Bay Area began America’s lockdown. We now know that lockdown has worse net effects than the previous social distancing strategy. We now know that without the lockdown the healthcare system would not have been overwhelmed after all, yet we remain in lockdown because mission creep changed the goal of lockdown from saving the healthcare system to saving lives, even just one life.

    Mission creep extended a three week lockdown to a seven week lockdown and now to an eleven week lockdown. What happens at the end of May, when they get another opportunity to keep us in lockdown? Now that the initial danger has passed, the healthcare system was not overwhelmed and will not be, mission creep is making all the unintended consequences worse and worse, and for no good reason.

    Governments are lamenting their loss of incomes and their blown budgets, demanding their own bailouts from the national government. Strike that. I am having difficulty dredging up any sympathy for the same governments that refuse to end the conditions that have created their own — and our — problems. Those who run our governments are a pack of idiots.

    But the worst part of all is that we are losing the forty thousand Americans that were supposed to have been saved by the lockdown. As commenters here have pointed out, a few days ago we passed 60,000 reported deaths — with an additional 2,000 deaths each passing day — this sixty thousand is Fauci’s prediction of the number of deaths that we would have with the lockdowns in place, down from the 100,000 without lockdown but with social distancing, hand washing, and travel bans. At the current rate of 2,000 COVID deaths per day, before the end of May we will have lost the 40,000 lives that lockdown was supposed to have saved. Our sacrifice and suffering was an act of futility.

    Lockdown turned out to be unnecessary for its initial goal, and it is failing the goal for extending the lockdown. Extension was supposed to sacrifice quality of life in favor of quantity of life, but both have been lost. Yet here we are, on track to lockdown through May, if not longer.

    So, no. It isn’t just crying wolf that will keep us from taking another lockdown seriously, it is also the knowledge of the consequences.

  • Chris

    I’m a bit late tot he thread – at camp working this weekend.

    Andrew a question – How do we know how contagious COVID-19 is?

    I’m not sure we can know at this point.

  • wayne

    Talking Heads
    “Thank You For Sending Me An Angel”
    Hollywood Pantages Theater December 1983

    “You can walk, you can talk just like me.
    You can look, tell me what you see.
    You can look, you won’t see nothing like me,
    if you look around the world.”

  • Andrew-Winter

    OH man… I remember the Hong Kong Flu. Damn thing nearly killed me! My parents told me, some time afterward, that I was bed ridden for eleven days. I can only remember 2 and bits and pieces of others.

    I remember having to keep a cold compress under my eyes because my eyes were discharging liquid so hot from the fever it was causing first degree burns on my face. GAWD that “b*&^ch’ HURT! But, there were no school closings, nope, everybody was all about NIXON and the Election, and the Vietnam WAR. OH and by Everybody, I mean it was only NBC CBS and ABC then, and they weren’t interested in some new germ when they could lead with The TET offensive, My Lai and some dumb assed Lt named Calley. No one gave a rats-rear-end about the FLU!

    If I am not mistaken, the ground breaking research that “discovered” the Spanish Fly Epidemic of 1919-21 had not even been done yet, or was not widely know about, and not very many people at all were even aware that it had happened.

  • Cotour

    A comment on the “Greatest generation”.

    Still impressive, and in the long run we all have it in us to become focused and determined to get done what must be done. Especially in America, no matter how fat, stupid and self indulgent we allow ourselves to become.

  • wayne

    interesting story!

    was not expecting that!

    speaking of the greatest generation….

    Audio From the Past
    “Avro Lancaster Bomber Crew Radio chatter”

  • eddie willers

    And Woodstock happened that summer.

  • Rose

    @Jason Hillyer: Trump said, just today, that the death toll would be closer to 1-2 million if the country hadn’t done the things it did (travel bans, lockdowns, etc). Do they not trust the results of the antibody tests or do you think they are unaware that they exist (unlikely)?

    That 1-2 million is consistent with the IFR (Infection Fatality Rate) implied by a couple of those serology (antibody test) studies (such as the NY State study implying an IFR of about 0.8%) and the disease spreading unchecked through 70 – 80% of the population.

    Analysts have reasons to be suspicious of some other serology studies suggested a much lower IFR. Consider the Santa Clara study which had a 1.5% positive rate with their antibody tests. They weighted that for population demographics (?!) to conclude that 2.8% (1.3% to 4.7% with a 95% confidence interval) of the county had at some point been infected, compared to the 0.05% official case number at the time the tests were done, suggesting an actual IFR of 1/56 (1/94to 1/26 at 95% CI) that of the officially reported CFR, bringing it down to the range of seasonal influenza.

    The specificity of an antibody test is a measure of what percentage of your positive results are true. Less than 100% specificity means the test will yield false positives, perhaps being triggered by antibodies for other coronaviruses, such as those which can cause the common cold. If you are testing in an area with an already high infection rate, such as New York City where 24.7% of the tests came back positive, then a percent or two of false positives won’t change your results much. But in Santa Clara country, a percent or two false positive rate could have been responsible for all of their 1.5% positive tests!

    The company which sold them the tests claims a 99.5% specificity, but that has not been independently verified. You would want to take a bunch of those tests back in time and check their reliability among a pre-outbreak representative population. Unable to do that, they instead check it against samples from pre-outbreak blood donations, and that’s where a couple questions arise. Is there something about the stored samples — either degradation over time, storage method, or preservative chemicals — which make them less likely to give false positives? Are those stored samples from a representative population? (Perhaps 1.5% of the people tested in Santa Clara had recently had a cold and still had high related antibody levels. Are people who recently had a cold as likely to donate blood? Or perhaps the blood donations were from outside the common cold season. Or maybe a different coronavirus which is more prevalent around Santa Clara than wherever those blood donations originated.)

    Since the Santa Clara study and a few others like it were so very sensitive to possible errors in the test’s claimed specificity, they are not trusted as much as those in more infected areas which are less sensitive to false positives. (If 23.4% instead of 24.7% of the NYC test had been true positives, then no big deal. But if 0.2% instead of 1.5% of the Santa Clara tests had been been true positives, that massively changes the resulting IFR estimate.)

    The about 0.8% IFR from the NY study is more consistent with rates predicted from other methods than the 0.1% – 0.2% from the Santa Clara study is, but the quality of these studies is assessed independently from their agreement with other methods.

    Link to Santa Clara study paper:

  • Chris

    Hi Rose

    So reading your comment above on IFR I still have to ask what we are basing the fatality rate on. My understanding is that due to the questions on the serology tests we cannot know the true spread of this virus. I agree with the questioning of the Santa Clara study results but the key from that study’s conclusion (and emphasized by Dr Bhatacharya in his Uncommon Knowledge interview) is we need more testing. – thanks for the link
    In prior flu outbreaks I do not THINK that wide testing was conducted but I THINK the estimates of the infection were used based on a priori characteristics of the specific strain of the flu.
    In CV-19 there are no -to my knowledge – geographically dispersed, statistically significant serology tests. We don’t know the actual spread and I don’t THINK we can estimate since this is a “novel” virus. Because of this the R0 estimates are wide (1.4-3.9) . This drives a wide Herd Immunity Threshold and a therefore a wide range of deaths till herd immunity. Absence of the true cases also spreads the IFR estimates as well.

    My posts on this going back several weeks repeat the calls from Dr Henry Miller on John Batchelor pointing to the need for serology testing. Also later echoed by Dr Bhatacharya from the Santa Clara testing.

    My observations are that there is no strong push for a better test (high selectivity and sensitivity) and wide spread testing (that I see). I only see pockets of testing here and there. Without these results we do not know the CV-19 spread – only actual active cases and deaths. This makes me wonder why no push from our various political leaders for statistically significant results.

  • wayne

    A friend’s older sister actually went to Woodstock, she doesn’t remember being there.

    ref: “This makes me wonder why no push from our various political leaders for statistically significant results.”
    –I would put forth (as one reason among many)….the vast majority of our political leaders (at all levels), have absolutely no idea whatsoever, of which you speak. And even worse, they don’t care that they have no clue. There’s a distinct lack of intellectual curiosity, and a lot of what they do entails ‘protecting their phony baloney jobs.*’ And they aren’t going to let facts deviate them from their own agenda.
    [*-hat tip to Blazing Saddles, but I’ll spare everyone the link.]

  • mkent

    You’re making the opposite point you think you are. That Hong Kong flu killed only 50% more (not double) in a year (100,000) with no social distancing whatsoever than Covid-19 did in eight weeks (71,000) in the middle of a nationwide lockdown is strong evidence that Covid-19 is much worse than the Hong Kong flu.

    How many Americans do you think Covid-19 would have killed had we ignored it like we did Hong Kong flu? Before the lockdown Covid-19 had an R0 value of 2.5 and a death count that doubled every four days. Carry that forward for six weeks, and the death count is greater than the 1918 Spanish flu.

    As a kid I used to watch a lot of 1950s science fiction movies. They would always have one character in complete denial. Flying saucers would be laying waste to the countryside with death rays, and some woman would be out in the back yard hanging up wash saying “This is not happening! Everything is normal. No need to shelter in the basement.” I always laughed at the implausibility of it. Not any more.

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