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If you want to feel better about this
pandemic, consider the Black Plague

Original Article

Posted By: Pluperfect, 3/31/2020 4:00:40 AM

No one would make light of a pandemic that has already cost so much in terms of death, suffering and treasure — especially since there is undoubtedly so much more to come. But still, it must be said that if we are to have a pandemic, the early 21st century is the best time in all human history to have one. They used to be common. Yellow fever, malaria, cholera and other deadly diseases swept through American cities over and over in the early years of the nation, and there was little that doctors could do to help the victims. Their patients lived or died

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Reply 1 - Posted by: John Gee 3/31/2020 10:50:32 AM (No. 363869)
Barbara Tuchman wrote a major tome about the 14th Century titled "A Distant Mirror". That book spends quite a lot of pages discussing the the Black Death in detail, and horrifying stuff it is. Besides the deaths, the culture went south in a big way. Artists who had been painting happy people suddenly started painting scenes with young people encountering the dead face to face. Pretty much all art from that time is similar. It didn't help that Europe was crowded and largely malnourished, and that the plague came in two phases and often killed within 24 hours of the first signs. In one monastery in France there was a monk that documented how the plague arrived, and killed off all the monks one by one. Then he died. The manuscript was discovered many years later, in the ruins of the monastery.
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Reply 2 - Posted by: DVC 3/31/2020 11:17:55 AM (No. 363916)
If the ACTUAL death rate works out to something in the 0.85 to 0.5% range, as I think it will eventually be found to be, the only remaining question is "How many total people will get the disease?" That is unknowable at this time. If Wuhan flu behaves like seasonal flu, which is not known to be true or false, yet, it would naturally stop infecting very many people soon. If our 'social distancing' and economic shutdown is working, that should be causing a slowdown, too. Yesterday was the fourth day where the national number of new cases was smaller than the day before. Number of cases has grown more slowly each day than the previous day, the first indications of "bending over of the curve". IMO, this is a big deal, and an important milestone - if that trend continues to hold. So, we have no way of knowing if the total number of cases is three times the reported number of 165,000 that are "officially known" today, or even 8 times that number, but we DO know that there are large numbers of no or low symptom cases. How many is "large numbers"? There's the unknowable at this time. If 3 times that have it, that's about 500,000 with it now. Does it stop there or infect 1 million, or 20 million? No way to know for sure, except that our current actions mean FEWER people will get it. How many fewer? Unknowable. Can't ever prove what didn't happen. Like "how many accidents do anti-lock brakes prevent each year?" Unknowable, too. Lots of things that we are certain "do good", or "increase safety" are unmeasurable HOW MUCH they increase safety. Lots of unknowables out there.
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Reply 3 - Posted by: Luandir 3/31/2020 4:32:04 PM (No. 364241)
And those poor peasants didn't even have the internet to share plague memes.
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Reply 4 - Posted by: NorthernDog 3/31/2020 4:42:06 PM (No. 364250)
Yeah but, this pandemic could have been contained. Barbaric food handling practices have no place in the 21st century.
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