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Chronicle of the Devastating Flu Epidemic is Frightening, Readable
Seattle Times ^

Posted on 12/05/2009 9:47:08 AM PST by T.L.Sink

The Great Influenza pandemic killed as many as 100 million worldwide when the global population was less than a third of what it is today. It killed more people in twenty-four weeks than AIDS has killed in twenty-four years, more people in a year than the Black Death of the Middle Ages in a century. It didn't single out the very young and the very old. Half those who died were young people in the prime of life - in their 20's and 30's. By a bizarre and unprecedented stroke it turned the immune system itself into a killer. Two-thirds of the deaths occurred in 24 weeks and more than half in less time - from mid-September to early December, 1918. The influenza virus mutates constantly and be be different by the time a vaccine may be developed. In America 675,000 died and adjusted for population increase this would be about 2 million today. The great existential question is can it happen again? YES, and it will. In the author's words, "The likelihood and potential danger of another influenza pandemic is not reassuring. Every expert on influenza agrees that the ability of the virus to reassort genes means that another pandemic not only can happen. It certainly will happen."

(Excerpt) Read more at seattletimes.nwsource.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: 1918; chronicle; devastating; epidemic; flu; frightening; influenza; pandemic; readable

1 posted on 12/05/2009 9:47:09 AM PST by T.L.Sink
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To: T.L.Sink

That’s what Mother Nature does; it comes up with alternative diseases no matter how many we manage to eradicate. Hey, Mother Nature is required to kill you one way or the other. That’s a fact and it’s never going to change. It’s the one thing that is most certainly guaranteed in life; if you’re born, you’re gonna die. Amen.


2 posted on 12/05/2009 10:06:11 AM PST by john drake (Roman military maxim; "oderint dum metuant," i.e., "let them hate, as long as they fear.")
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To: T.L.Sink

Not another one!

Bird flu, a swing and a miss.

Swine flue, a swing and a miss.

SWING badda...

What is this penchant for chicken little nonsense all about?

Yes, there will probably be a terrible bout with the flu in the future, and many people will die. What is to be gained by trying to scare the living ‘s—t’ out of everyone in the meantime?

There is something driving this. What that is exactly, I don’t know, but certain people are not trying to scare the public to death for no reason at all. You can take that to the bank.


3 posted on 12/05/2009 10:15:50 AM PST by DoughtyOne (A MELTING POT not a potters wheel. Join us. Don't try to turn this nation into the one you fled.)
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To: DoughtyOne; john drake

The flu pandemics are absolutely light hitters when one contemplates the world wide MASS DEATH AND DESTRUCTION WHEN THE SEAS RISE 2000 FEET BY THE YEAR 2100, THE AVERAGE TEMP WILL BE 135 DEG IN THE NORTH POLE, ALL HURRICANES WILL BE FORCE 9, ETC., etc., etc


4 posted on 12/05/2009 10:23:05 AM PST by BOBTHENAILER ( long?)
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To: BOBTHENAILER

I hear ya. If you want my thought on it, these two dire matters are being raised constantly by the same team.


5 posted on 12/05/2009 10:28:53 AM PST by DoughtyOne (A MELTING POT not a potters wheel. Join us. Don't try to turn this nation into the one you fled.)
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To: BOBTHENAILER

Oh yeah, I forgot about that. Might as well commit suicide now.....


6 posted on 12/05/2009 10:31:41 AM PST by john drake (Roman military maxim; "oderint dum metuant," i.e., "let them hate, as long as they fear.")
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To: DoughtyOne

these two dire matters are being raised constantly by the same team

My thoughts as well-—nothing like dire calalmity to arouse the sheeple.


7 posted on 12/05/2009 10:45:12 AM PST by BOBTHENAILER ( long?)
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To: T.L.Sink

It’s important to note that medicine of the time was not as primitive as all that, nor is medicine today that much more advanced in many ways.

To start with, they knew it was a microorganism, though they could not yet image viruses. And they also knew that it followed the rules of contagious diseases. To their advantage over us today, they were *very* familiar with other epidemics and plagues. Every doctor carried quarantine signs in their black bag.

This familiarity with epidemics should not be underestimated. To start with, they used a very potent antiseptic, called carbolic acid (phenol), which is very harsh, toxic, and effective against viruses and bacteria. They also had natural rubber gloves and surgical masks.

They were very aware that coughing and sneezing could spread disease, as well as untreated water and food, physical contamination, insects and animals.

But the big difference was the general public of the time. They were not taught common hygiene, sanitation, disinfectants, or about the causes of disease. That didn’t happen until the middle of World War II, when the government mandated that it be taught.

Wealthier families had a “sick room” in their home, where family members would go when they caught some disease, to help isolate them from the rest of the family.


8 posted on 12/05/2009 10:48:41 AM PST by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: BOBTHENAILER

Agreed... or to get them to sign on to the nanny state ownership of their souls.


9 posted on 12/05/2009 10:57:28 AM PST by DoughtyOne (A MELTING POT not a potters wheel. Join us. Don't try to turn this nation into the one you fled.)
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To: DoughtyOne

I see your point but one thing that Barry pointed out in his book is that the press was much to blame for downplaying the pandemic. It’s surprising today but, far from sensationalizing the problem, they impeded the search for an antidote by deliberately failing to inform people about the scope of the calamity. Of course, ultimately, the people knew the truth about what was happening. By the way, it may be hard for us to believe today but we were close to a total social collapse because of the panic and lack of information.


10 posted on 12/05/2009 11:27:45 AM PST by T.L.Sink
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

Exactly right! One of the things Barry emphasized was the extremely high quality of our researchers and medical doctors. They included many Nobel laureates who made discoveries that are still a fundamental part of our health care system. By the way, it would help our sense of humility if more people realized that the influenza virus is STILL a formidable threat, as Barry points out.


11 posted on 12/05/2009 11:37:21 AM PST by T.L.Sink
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To: T.L.Sink

“...but we were close to a total social collapse because of the panic and lack of information.”

Lack of information? It was the constant barrage of half-baked nonsense that caused the panic. We got plenty of information. Sadly it was bogus from the get-go.


12 posted on 12/05/2009 11:44:30 AM PST by DoughtyOne (A MELTING POT not a potters wheel. Join us. Don't try to turn this nation into the one you fled.)
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To: DoughtyOne

You’re very wrong about that and you’d have to read the book and become familiar with the well-documented facts rather than asserting a personal opinion that’s not based on the historical evidence.


13 posted on 12/05/2009 12:07:14 PM PST by T.L.Sink
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To: T.L.Sink

If you think that you needed to read a book to know what took place with regard to Bird and Swine flu over the last two years, so be it. If you’re trying to say I’m all wet because I saw what took place for what it was, you have my blessing. I’m going to differ on your opinion, but thems the breaks.


14 posted on 12/05/2009 12:12:01 PM PST by DoughtyOne (A MELTING POT not a potters wheel. Join us. Don't try to turn this nation into the one you fled.)
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To: T.L.Sink

Actually, right now the world medical community sees the H5N1 Avian flu as being incredibly bad. In a full outbreak, it could have a mortality of over one billion people. It has, and has mysteriously maintained a 60% mortality rate. Only hyper-lethal animal epidemics can be compared to it, like the Myxomatosis that almost wiped out all of Australia’s rabbits in 1950.

The three most influential changes since 1918 are first, that we now have a general understanding of how the influenza virus functions in the human body, and as such, can try to disrupt the process.

Second, is that our society has been heavily indoctrinated with the process of basic hygiene and sanitation. The public knows about viruses, and to some extent how to avoid them.

Third is our communications system, by which we can disseminate information rapidly. This is an extraordinarily powerful tool in an epidemic, because it permits a level of organization unheard of before.


15 posted on 12/05/2009 12:30:09 PM PST by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: T.L.Sink

To make sure we’re talking about the same aspect of this issue, I want to make it clear what my comments pertain to.

Over the last two years I observed public health players, the media, politicians, and even private individuals around the world talk about Bird Flu and Swine Flu in terms of impending doom, almost certain (and at times as a certainty) to cause massive deaths.

Combining to cause a wave of massive fear in the public, these entities effectively yelled fire in a crowded theater. Remaining calm and taking reasoned measures would have been fine. Panicking the populace wasn’t.

What could the public have possibly done to avoid either the bird flu or the swine flu? Nothing. Despite this, the constant drumbeat continued. Anyone urging caution was shouted down and called illiterate, a disruptor, or a person who didn’t care about dying children or pregnant women. To my way of thinking, that’s the precise tactic you’ve tried to use here to silence me, or simply dismiss me and get others to join you.

So what happened? Did the bird flu rise up and kill off half the planet’s population? Did the swine flue rise up and kill off tens of millions of human beings? In a word, no.

You’ll have to forgive me for thinking I’ve been right to urge caution about these strains of influenza. You’ll have to forgive me for thinking public health officials should be made to step down for how they created and handled these two ‘pandemics of fear’.

If that doesn’t parallel the message in the book, I’m still going to have to state that my prediction is the one that came to pass. It was hype beyond reason. That is now a solid fact nobody can deny.

As I first said on this thread, there will one day come a legitimate pandemic. I would hope that we manage the information about that a lot better than this. If folks won’t be able to defend themselves, it will still not be helpful to create massive panic.

That’s all I’ve been saying all along, and those who went postal over these ‘certain to be massive killers’ should fess up and agree.


16 posted on 12/05/2009 12:40:50 PM PST by DoughtyOne (A MELTING POT not a potters wheel. Join us. Don't try to turn this nation into the one you fled.)
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To: john drake
Your post is so true...

One evening a bunch of us nurse's and a couple of doctor's were sitting around talking about what kills the most people....the final answer was life...without it no one dies..

17 posted on 12/05/2009 4:45:54 PM PST by goat granny
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To: DoughtyOne

Thanks for your reply and the clarification. However, I’m certainly not trying to “silence” you but merely to point out that your views aren’t consistent with the facts as researched by the author, not ME. By the way, there’s another recent book written by a microbiologist by the name of Gina Kolata. It’s not nearly as comprehensive as Barry’s book but her research and studies essentially confirm Barry’s point.


18 posted on 12/05/2009 10:14:56 PM PST by T.L.Sink
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