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Serious Question: Could COVID-19 / Coronavirus be worse than the Spanish Flu of 1918 ?

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FiSheYe   Germany. Mar 13 2020 17:51. Posts 209




I am late to the party, thought this is another Hysteria SARS / MERS 2.0 with a long media cycle followed by not much real damage in terms of death / infections. But the more I talk to smart, logical and non-drama people that I perceive as well informed, the more I realize this is BIG. I just read up a bit on Spanish Flu 1918 and what the numbers were (death toll between 17-50 Mio., 27% global population affected) and I watch videos of exponential spread and so forth.... And I am wondering, if in Germany where I live 60-70% of the population might get it within the next 1-2 years AND the fatality rate is indeed somewhere around 3.4% (for reported cases) AND some countries maintain an irresponsible long time to react appropriately ... Then shouldn't the overall number be MORE devastating than in 1918 ? I am completely new to this and apologize if I miss a lot of crucial points but for a math for idiots calculation: Let say 7.7 Billion people, lets say like the Spanish Flu 27% Population infected, death rate not 3.4 but 1% of infected. 7.700.000.000 * 0,27 * 0,01 = 20.790.000 People


Where am I (hopefully) wrong? Will the spread be smaller ? Fatality Rate is too high at 1% of cases ? The mutation will lower the % of deaths per infection? Stretching out the infection rate over time will help improve the medical aid for severe cases? Someone with a lot more knowledge please elaborate, as I am starting to realize this could not only be potentially the biggest financial crisis in my lifetime as additionally maybe the biggest human tragedy since world war 2. Thanks for educating me, very much appreciate. Stay safe

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FiSheYe   Germany. Mar 13 2020 18:12. Posts 209

Just saw this one coincidentally (maybe I am already in the echo- chamber):


Liquid`Drone   Norway. Mar 13 2020 22:14. Posts 2916

Covid-19 is definitely looking bad. But no, I think there are multiple reasons why it won't be as bad (for society) as the spanish flu was. It is possible that the overall death counts end up surpassing that of spanish flu, but if you compare to percentage of world population, not so much. (4 times as many people living now as back then, and 50 mill people seems like a better estimate than 17 mill, so covid would have to go up to 200 mill territory.)

One key difference is that the spanish flu targeted young and healthy people. Older people, who had to a greater degree lived through the russian flu 30 years earlier, had much better autoimmune systems, but 'Modern analysis has shown the virus to be particularly deadly because it triggers a cytokine storm (overreaction of the body's immune system), which ravages the stronger immune system of young adults'. Corona does not seem to do this, and has a very low mortality rate for people below 40-50. I mean, I'm not one to be cynically supportive of the weeding out of the old and infirm - but I do think it's less bad if 40 million 60+ year old people die than if 40 million 20-30 year old people die.

Finally, one area of comfort, is that if you look here, you can see that South Korea, the country where the testing has been by far most intensive (indicating that they have caught far more patients with mild symptoms, and not only people severely infected), the mortality rate is below 1%. I'm not going to argue with the WHO and their 3.4% figure - but considering that a lot of people get very mild symptoms (this is why it spreads so fast and is virtually impossible to contain, after all), there are good reasons to be a bit skeptical towards that figure.

I'm still expecting an 8 digit number of deaths worldwide, and obv it'll be very bad for the economy. It's a very serious crisis, for sure.

lol POKER 

FiSheYe   Germany. Mar 13 2020 23:01. Posts 209

Jeah, I meant total deaths not in %. Obv. these are different times, information travels much faster. If someone on a horse in Japan gets the flu in 1918 it is completely different than now days where it can be live-streamed and drugs/hospitals etc. are far more advanced. I see problems tho with countries like Iran or once it hits Africa, where people have not the same quality of medical care and life in general is more on the streets/in close proximity and with less clothing / more touching. I mean in parts of Africa they have sex with virgins to cure them-self from AIDS, who knows what religious or other theories people will come up with. I also am a bit worried if this is a 1-2 year thing or seasonal. The Spanish flu took 2-3 years to get to those death numbers and it came in waves. In a globalized world where you travel by airplanes and not horses and so much more overpopulation... It is really hard to understand what the impact will be, but I cannot see that restaurants/public events/small business/tourism etc. can be on hold for months, at some point the government cannot pay the bill anymore and not everyone is as fine and happy as we are with isolate lifestyles. Porn, Netflix, Apps and delivery services will explode but other areas of business life are really fucked. I cannot remember or find any documentations of when a world economy would globally go on hold for 1-2 months in terms of isolation / closing borders / stopping air travel. Sure we could be able to handle it all together but it is a huge fucking social experiment and I have a hard time understanding how this can not lead into a financial crisis much more severe than 2008. This is happening with a trickle-down-effect for so many people privately and in business. The US has been traumatized by 3k deaths on 9/11, what is it gonna be if 30-100k elderly Mom's/Dad's and Grandparents die. Really hard to grasp what this will mean on many levels. And this is all without the thought of potential racism, wars, blaming other nations, fighting over resources, etc. coming into play. I feel like I pushed the wrong button in the simulator or this is the twilight zone


Liquid`Drone   Norway. Mar 13 2020 23:15. Posts 2916

It's definitely gonna require some societal restructuring, might end up being a useful crisis, probably just leads to more suffering tho.

but yeah peoples perspectives seem off here, like in Norway they closed schools until march 26th for now, but our government health agencies are also stating that most likely the corona peak will hit somewhere between may and august.

lol POKER 

FiSheYe   Germany. Mar 13 2020 23:32. Posts 209

It is really hard to grasp what to do until August. Experts in Germany say 60-70% of our population will get infected, as long as the curve flattens enough that it will be somewhat fine (enough hospital beds means less high % of deaths, opposed to what Italy has right now, where they have to literally choose who lives and who dies). But if it comes in waves even Chinese could see a round of re-infections. Africa and South America might be the least resilient in terms of infrastructure / health aid and it could spread like wildfire between people. Hopefully higher temperatures in the summer can slow it down enough and lower the death rates but it is more speculative. Another tricky spot is, do people really recover 100% after they were severely sick? There are rumors / discussion that like in cases of pneumonia, the lounges could lose 30-40% ability and you might end up with life-long issues, very far from a full recovery, despite surviving.

Everyone has their conspiracies but with a killer-virus that actually is here and kills people, everyone seems so chill that the government will get it under control and that they are telling us what the situation is. If you look at the measures taken, this has more of a Zombie Apocalypse-measure plan to it than something that will come and go. I think we aren't told everything mainly to avoid panics right now, but unfortunately we could indeed talk about 7-8 figure deaths eventually if this is not handled properly. Either way it seems almost assured that this is gonna stay for months or years, not weeks. So self-isolating for a few days might be the best we can do for our fellows but it hardly seems like a solution, just the best emergency action to take.

also I think there is an 80% chance Trump has Corona at this point and it might start a panic in the US over the weekend (esp. stox market).


Liquid`Drone   Norway. Mar 14 2020 00:10. Posts 2916

there seems to be a reasonably small % of previously healthy adults who end up getting permanently worsened lung capacity from this. But a large majority (of people below 50) experience it as a flu, in many cases a mild flu.

lol POKER 

FiSheYe   Germany. Mar 14 2020 00:13. Posts 209

The forum here is pretty much just old school guys lurking, I looked at reddit but I am too old for that shit I guess. Where are all the smart people discussing this? I would like to have more input from people like us but 10x more educated about it or maybe in jobs that give a bit more insight. Outside of Youtube I have a hard time to find good sources, seems to all happen somewhere but not very organized yet. If someone can finger point, would appreciate


Liquid`Drone   Norway. Mar 14 2020 00:18. Posts 2916

Also I think the US is possibly the western country least well equipped to handle this. So many elements stacked against - incompetent government giving inconsistent or stupid advice, people not trusting the government and more people unlikely to listen to advice given, health care infrastructure very bad for large segments of the population, worker rights worse than in other countries and more people living paycheck to paycheck so more people feel they have to go to work even if feeling slightly bad..

trump having corona and going MIA would be great for the US at this point, his mishandling of this situation is a great example of why having competent people in charge is important and that ideology isn't the only metric that matters. (Contrast to Poland - where I am just as ideologically opposed to the PiS party, they took really swift action that made sense and I expect them to be one of the European countries that end up least badly affected. )

lol POKER 

LemOn[5thF]   Czech Republic. Mar 14 2020 00:31. Posts 15115

No
spanish flu killed young people, a lot
Basically your immune system overreacted and killed you - the stronger it was the WORSE for you

People under 65 (99% of deaths were under 65)
- have to work
- socialise and move around way more, or economy halts
are all doctors and carers
=> high risk of death population can now just stay home as they are all pensioners, back then it would collapse the world if nobody went to work

93% Sure!  

Zografa   Bulgaria. Mar 14 2020 00:37. Posts 962


  On March 13 2020 23:13 FiSheYe wrote:
The forum here is pretty much just old school guys lurking, I looked at reddit but I am too old for that shit I guess. Where are all the smart people discussing this? I would like to have more input from people like us but 10x more educated about it or maybe in jobs that give a bit more insight. Outside of Youtube I have a hard time to find good sources, seems to all happen somewhere but not very organized yet. If someone can finger point, would appreciate



U can subscribe to this list on twitter:
https://twitter.com/i/lists/1221004646656835585

And yes this shit is bad, dont know if we will reach spanish flu levels, hopefully not, but it will change the world.

The fish call, the shark raise. 

FiSheYe   Germany. Mar 14 2020 01:20. Posts 209


  On March 13 2020 23:31 LemOn[5thF] wrote:
No
spanish flu killed young people, a lot
Basically your immune system overreacted and killed you - the stronger it was the WORSE for you

People under 65 (99% of deaths were under 65)
- have to work
- socialise and move around way more, or economy halts
are all doctors and carers
=> high risk of death population can now just stay home as they are all pensioners, back then it would collapse the world if nobody went to work


"
In 1918–1919, 99% of pandemic influenza deaths in the U.S. occurred in people under 65, and nearly half in young adults 20 to 40 years old. In 1920, the mortality rate among people under 65 had decreased sixfold to half the mortality rate of people over 65, but still, 92% of deaths occurred in people under 65. "

You are correct that it is a very different situation. However Italy / Germany / Spain and other countries have a much older avg. population than China. One of the reasons why Italy might see so many deaths is
A) Asians travel more to Italy B) Italy has more social life on the streets C) Worse medical care D) among the most old people in the world % wise

But I disagree that "old people staying home" will solve this compared to young people dying like flies. Apparently the Spanish flu came in 2-3 waves over 2-3 years and mutated (which is normal) but the highest risk was for pregnant women. This time around the highest risk seems to be for very old men with health issues. One of the reasons why old people might have been doing better during the Spanish Flu could be because they already had the Russian flu
a while back and some sort of immunity. The cases seem almost polar opposites to what we see today but I doubt it can be easily dismissed that old people can "avoid it". Maybe with perfect isolation but how do these people get food? How do they live? by them-self ? What if there are children, who are asymptomatic but highly contagious. The fact that the Italians have such high death % and overall infection just shows me that this is hard to predict. Also in some countries it is very common that the kids, parents and grand-parents live under the same roof. Especially 3rd world countries won't have like extra houses for single old people all completely isolated from the rest of the society.
I guess flattening the curve and hoping that 2nd or 3rd waves of this killer-virus won't mutate in a more aggressive way are our best hopes right now. Obviously mass-scale testing is the best way to get a hold of it. Some companies will make a shitload of money on mediocre to inaccurate tests that will be super overpriced. I have never seen such drastic and quick measures being taken globally, this is handled way different than the financial crisis (albeit it might be more obvious/alarming with deaths instead of banks collapsing)... I actually am not too big on conspiracies but the way in which things are being done suggests that there is a lot more urgency than is communicated. And I am not talking about the actual deaths right now, I think if those measures would not have been taken and we are talking about exponential growth, this could be 10x the issue right now. As bad as China handled it, we are lucky they have a dictatorship when it comes to just doing what must be done.
Found this one insightful and useful for the situation:
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 Last edit: 14/03/2020 01:22

 



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