“No More Crying ’Spanish Flu’,” my article in Forbes
What’s that? Your throat feels sore? You’re sniffling and sneezing? Bit achy?
IT’S THE RETURN OF THE SPANISH FLU!
Okay, that’s satire–but not by much. Since 1990, every time some new viral pathogen comes along that grabs the media’s attention, we hear it may be the Second Coming of a pandemic that killed about 50 million worldwide and 675,000 Americans–to 175 million globally and 2 million Americans.”
First, it was SARS in 1993. It ended up killing 774 people worldwide and no Americans. Which didn’t stop the New York Times from writing 1,000 articles about it. NONE of which said, “We wuz wrong.”
Then it was avian flu. It was supposed to go pandemic and kill literally as much as half the world’s population. But nobody but me pointed out it’s been circulating since 1959, so why should it suddenly go pandemic? In any case, it didn’t and cases peaked a few years ago.
And then, of course, it was swine flu. And here’s where you see that my satire was barely off the mark. A year ago both the WHO and the UN said swine flu might become another Spanish flu because – ready? – they both started off mild. So if swine flu had started off severely then it would have been more reassuring? (The inset image, incidentally, of an overflow Spanish flu ward, was taken from an article on SWINE flu.)
But there will NEVER be another Spanish flu again, and I explain why. And you’ll be very interested. So read about it here.