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General Information Thread

All They had were axes - hammers - pokers ... Americans are heavily armed wiTh over 400 million firearms - 12 Trillion rounds of ammuniTion --- of privaTe ciTizens.


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Historical
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Title: Elvis Was King, Ike Was President, and 116,000 Americans Died in a Pandemic
Source: American Institute for Economic Research
URL Source: https://www.aier.org/article/elvis- ... -americans-died-in-a-pandemic/
Published: May 4, 2020
Author: Jeffrey A. Tucker
Post Date: 2020-05-06 16:35:11 by Deckard
Keywords: None
Views: 250
Comments: 6

The year was 1957.

Elvis’s new movie “Jailhouse Rock” was packing the theaters. The last episode of “I Love Lucy” aired on television. The show “West Side Story” held tryouts in Washington, D.C., and opened on Broadway in September. Ford’s new car the Edsel rolled off the assembly line. The Cold War with Russia was on and “In God We Trust” appeared on U.S. currency. The first Toys R Us store opened. 

Also that year, the so-called Asian Flu killed 116,000 Americans. Here is the full summary from the Centers for Disease Control:

In February 1957, a new influenza A (H2N2) virus emerged in East Asia, triggering a pandemic (“Asian Flu”). This H2N2 virus was comprised of three different genes from an H2N2 virus that originated from an avian influenza A virus, including the H2 hemagglutinin and the N2 neuraminidase genes. It was first reported in Singapore in February 1957, Hong Kong in April 1957, and in coastal cities in the United States in summer 1957. The estimated number of deaths was 1.1 million worldwide and 116,000 in the United States.

Like the current pandemic, there was a demographic pattern to the deaths. It hit the elderly population with heart and lung disease. In a frightening twist, the virus could also be fatal for pregnant women. The infection rate was probably even higher than the Spanish flu of 1918 (675,000 Americans died from this), but this lowered the overall case fatality rate to 0.67%. A vaccine became available in late 1957 but was not widely distributed.

The population of the U.S. at the time was 172 million, which is a little more than half of the current population. Life expectancy was 69 as versus 78 today. Even with shorter lives, it was a healthier population with lower rates of obesity. To extrapolate the data to a counterfactual, we can conclude that this virus was more wicked than COVID-19 thus far.

What’s remarkable when we look back at this year, nothing was shut down. Restaurants, schools, theaters, sporting events, travel – everything continued without interruption. Without a 24-hour news cycle with thousands of news agencies and a billion websites hungry for traffic, mostly people paid no attention other than to keep basic hygiene. It was covered in the press as a medical problem. The notion that there was a political solution never occurred to anyone.

[Note of correction. A correspondent pointed out to me that “The October 1957 LDS General Conference was cancelled because of the flu epidemic in 1957 and there may have been other organizations that did so.” I’m grateful for the correction, and it makes the point: society was not ignorant of the pandemic. Instead, there was a variety of intelligent responses depending on the risk. I’m speculating that this event would have included quite a number of people on the list of the vulnerable.]

Again, this was a very serious flu, and it persisted for 10 years until it mutated to become the Hong Kong flu of 1968.

The New York Times had some but not much coverage. On September 18, 1957, an editorial counseled: “Let us all keep a cool head about Asian influenza as the statistics on the spread and the virulence of the disease begin to accumulate. For one thing, let us be sure that the 1957 type of A influenza virus is innocuous, as early returns show, and that antibiotics can indeed control the complications that may develop.”

The mystery of why today vast numbers of governments around the world (but not all) have crushed economies, locked people under house arrest, wrecked business, spread despair, disregarded basic freedoms and rights will require years if not decades to sort out. Is it the news cycle that is creating mass hysteria? Political ambition and arrogance? A decline in philosophical regard for freedom as the best system for dealing with crises? Most likely, the ultimate answer will look roughly like what historians say about the Great War (WWI): it was a perfect storm that created a calamity that no one intended at the outset.

For staying calm and treating the terrible Asian flu of 1957 as a medical problem to address with medical intelligence, rather than as an excuse to unleash Medieval-style brutality, this first postwar generation deserves our respect and admiration.


Jeffrey A. Tucker is Editorial Director for the American Institute for Economic Research. He is the author of many thousands of articles in the scholarly and popular press and eight books in 5 languages, most recently The Market Loves You. (1 image)

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#1. To: Liberator, Stoner, A K A Stone, misterwhite, Gatlin (#0)

What’s remarkable when we look back at this year, nothing was shut down. Restaurants, schools, theaters, sporting events, travel – everything continued without interruption.

Without a 24-hour news cycle with thousands of news agencies and a billion websites hungry for traffic, mostly people paid no attention other than to keep basic hygiene. It was covered in the press as a medical problem.

The notion that there was a political solution never occurred to anyone.

Ping

Government is in the last resort the employment of armed men, of policemen, gendarmes, soldiers, prison guards, and hangmen.
The essential feature of government is the enforcement of its decrees by beating, killing, and imprisoning.
Those who are asking for more government interference are asking ultimately for more compulsion and less freedom.

Deckard  posted on  2020-05-06   16:36:59 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: Deckard (#0) (Edited)

What’s remarkable when we look back at this year, nothing was shut down. Restaurants, schools, theaters, sporting events, travel – everything continued without interruption. Without a 24-hour news cycle with thousands of news agencies and a billion websites hungry for traffic, mostly people paid no attention other than to keep basic hygiene. It was covered in the press as a medical problem. The notion that there was a political solution never occurred to anyone.

The new coronavirus has some stark differences from other relatively recent, grim outbreaks of disease.

Take, for example, the SARS outbreak in 2003 (also a coronavirus), the H1N1 flu in 2009, or even the ongoing HIV epidemic. They don't compare for a number of reasons.

This coronavirus is novel, which means infectious disease experts necessarily have much more to learn about the recently-emerged microbe, particularly how to develop treatments to combat or quell the resulting disease, COVID-19. Still, dubious comparisons have been made to earlier virus outbreaks that either were successfully contained or already have treatments, suggesting that the new coronavirus might be similarly managed. Meanwhile, flag-waving protesters at crowded, conservative demonstrations claim the new pathogen isn't too serious as they rail against the large-scale shutdowns intended to curb the spread of this still-developing outbreak.

"The danger of these comparisons is it’s apples and oranges," said Dr. Vince Silenzio, an M.D. and professor at the Rutgers School of Public Health. "It's so different."

Of note, there are no approved antiviral medications to treat the new coronavirus. In contrast, there are proven drugs to combat influenza and effective medications to keep people infected with HIV healthy. And unlike coronavirus, SARS — which did not spread widely in U.S. communities and killed a total of 774 people globally in 2003 — was contained. This coronavirus, meanwhile, swept through the nation while the federal government — led by a president who in January said "We have it totally under control" — failed to test and isolate infected Americans. (For reference, so far there have been over 1,000 reported American COVID-19 deaths each day for 19 straight days in April.)

Now, the virus is everywhere, and it may take years to put a lid on this pathogen. "This one has spread to a lot of people and spread quickly," said Silenzio. The microbe is hospitalizing severely sick young and old people alike, though people over 65 are the most vulnerable.

Unlike SARS or Ebola, which sicken people relatively quickly, many folks infected with this coronavirus are healthy carriers, meaning they can unwittingly spread the microbe (even by talking) while they feel fine. Some asymptomatic people are coronavirus "super-spreaders."

And critically, there's no vaccine for this new virus, and there probably won't be one for at best a year to 18 months.

What is known about this coronavirus is that it's already killed over 42,000 Americans (as of April 21), and it's on track to, optimistically, kill tens of thousands more. It's pernicious.

"It is very dangerous at the peak of this pandemic to treat this virus as pedestrian, especially by making false equivalence arguments to previous experiences with pandemic viruses," said Mark Cameron, an immunologist at Case Western Reserve University who helped contain the outbreak of SARS.

Compared to well-researched pathogens like SARS, HIV or the 2009 H1N1 'swine' influenza, scientists are "deeply concerned" about the "mounting unknowns" of COVID-19, emphasized Cameron. That's because COVID-19 is already having a devastating impact on our most vulnerable citizens and overtaxed health care systems, he said.

https://mashable.com/article/coronavirus-versus-sars-flu-hiv/

Gatlin  posted on  2020-05-06   16:43:58 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: Gatlin (#2)

52 Years Ago, a Pandemic Flu Killed 100,000 in the US and Nothing Shut Down—Not Even Woodstock

Government is in the last resort the employment of armed men, of policemen, gendarmes, soldiers, prison guards, and hangmen.
The essential feature of government is the enforcement of its decrees by beating, killing, and imprisoning.
Those who are asking for more government interference are asking ultimately for more compulsion and less freedom.

Deckard  posted on  2020-05-06   16:46:44 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: Deckard (#3)

52 Years Ago, a Pandemic Flu Killed 100,000 in the US and Nothing Shut Down—Not Even Woodstock

See my Post #2 for same response …

Gatlin  posted on  2020-05-06   16:59:42 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#5. To: Gatlin (#4)

America was still a free country in 1958 and 1969....not anymore. We didn't shut down the nation and force people to stay home and somehow we made it through. What part of that is confusing to you?

Tyranny is the "new normal" according to you and the other fearful cowards.

Surprisingly you don't understand what's really going on here.

It's amazing that you still drink the MSM kool aid after all of the facts you have been presented with.

Your problem is that you are a sheep - always have been always will be.

Government is in the last resort the employment of armed men, of policemen, gendarmes, soldiers, prison guards, and hangmen.
The essential feature of government is the enforcement of its decrees by beating, killing, and imprisoning.
Those who are asking for more government interference are asking ultimately for more compulsion and less freedom.

Deckard  posted on  2020-05-06   17:06:17 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#6. To: Deckard (#5)

Your problem is that you are a sheep - always have been always will be.

Your problem is that you are a big pain in the ass who is always trying to create problems for everyone -'where there are simply minor incidents that can quickly be overcome with common sense and the use of good judgment.

There ...

Gatlin  posted on  2020-05-06   17:14:19 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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