Was reading up on something else which led to this item on the 1968-1970 influenza pandemic. Very interesting.
The 1968 flu pandemic caused illness of varying degrees of severity in different populations. For example, whereas illness was diffuse and affected only small numbers of people in Japan, it was widespread and deadly in the United States. Infection caused upper respiratory symptoms typical of influenza and produced symptoms of chills, fever, and muscle pain and weakness. These symptoms usually persisted for between four and six days. The highest levels of mortality were associated with the most susceptible groups, namely infants and the elderly. Although a vaccine was developed against the virus, it became available only after the pandemic had peaked in many countries.
Covid-19 has been far less prevalent in several Asian countries. No one knows why although theories include more authoritarian governments, people more willing to comply with authoritarianism, more willingness to were face mask, hypothesis that their populations already experienced a similar virus in the past that has offered protective immunity, and “we don’t know”.
It seems likely that the Covid-19 pandemic will end before vaccines are widely deployed. There are estimates from respectable scientists that we may see the effects of herd immunity began to be visible within weeks, and a significant drop in the spread of Covid-19 anytime from early 2021 to mid-2021 – whether we have a vaccine or not. There is much precedence for this outcome.
I lived through the 1968 pandemic. I have no memories of saturation news coverage, schools closed, stores closed or anyone wearing face masks. When adjusted for the growth of the U.S. population, about as many people died in the U.S. in that pandemic as had died due to Covid-19 until recently. Covid-19 recorded deaths are now exceeding that total but some say we count death differently than then. Today, any death with Covid-19 is attributed to Covid-19, even if the person was killed in a car crash or committed suicide.