IT looks like the Covid-19 pandemic will be like the February 1918 to April 1920 flu pandemic (the deadliest in the modern era), at least in its two-year duration, with its two waves, the last occurring just when the world thought it was over. Let’s brace for it, and hope it goes away by the latest by March 2022, two years after it emerged here.
Mask-wearing and the other precautions will still have to be suffered. That or die in the horrible feeling you’d have, as victims have reported, when you drown – gasping for air.
At least Covid-19 has taken only – pardon that adverb – 4.2 million lives globally and 28,000 here. The 1918 to 1920 pandemic killed at least 50 million worldwide; 80,000 in the Philippines.
We have one thing going for us though that humanity didn’t have during that 1918 plague: the exponential rise of science, in humanity’s knowledge of nature, which made possible the amazing formulation and mass production of at least six major vaccines, each of a different type. The science of microbiology and epidemiology, in fact, had been given a rocket booster because of the 1918 epidemic as the US and the West poured in vast resources scrambling in panic to find an effective vaccine against that flu, which, however, was discovered only in 1945.
An amazing but hardly quoted measure for humongous increase in scientific knowledge in a matter of several decades is the number of articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals, which totaled, believe it or not, to 2.6 million in a single year alone, 2018. How many in the 1920s? Fifty thousand.(more…)