How Unique Is COVID-19 And How Severe Was The Risk?
Additional thoughts on the response to COVID-19
It’s beginning to appear that here in America, as well as many other countries, we have seriously overreacted to the corona virus. It seems that Sweden and Turkey, that took a different approach to the corona virus, are having much better results both on the health front and financially.
In the case of Sweden the country never “shut down” but instead allowed the public to make their own decisions based on what information was available about the spread of the contagion and what demographics were at high risk. Turkey limited quarantine to only at risk people with specific focus on people over 65 but did not shut down anything.
It is not unreasonable to take a number of serious actions when faced with a new virus and a pandemic and we have past experiences to offer some guidance. But we have absolutely no past examples to study regarding the financial consequences of shutting down major segments of our economy for weeks and even months. To better understand the overreaction consider a pandemic that occurred around fifty years ago.
The Hong Kong Flu
In 1968 The Wall Street Journal noted. “The Hong Kong Flu virus triggered a state of emergency in New York City; caused so many deaths in Berlin that corpses were stored in subway tunnels; overwhelmed London’s hospitals; and in some areas of France left half of the workforce bedridden.”
The Hong Kong Flu, labeled H3N2 and currently identified as influenza A, was an extremely infectious virus that to this day renders most vaccines ineffective. Preceding almost every flu season we release a modified version of the H3N2 vaccine and usually it proves only 20% to 40% effective. In 1968 the pandemic in America was so serious that hundreds of thousands of Americans were hospitalized as the disease hit every state by Christmas. At that time it was determined to be fatal primarily to people over 65 with underlying medical conditions (according to the CDC currently 78% of elderly Americans have an underlying health issues and 47% have two or more).
The WHO reported that within two weeks of its emergence in July 1968 a half million cases of Hong Kong Flu had been reported. The 1968 flu pandemic caused illness of varying degrees of severity in different countries. The illness was mild and affected only small numbers in Japan while it was widespread and deadly in Europe and the United States. Estimates of worldwide deaths ranged as high as 4 million with 100 to 150 thousand in America.
The Centers for Disease Control website notes, “It was first noted in the United States in September 1968… The H3N2 virus continues to circulate worldwide each year as a seasonal influenza A virus.”
Considering the 1968 pandemic, why have we reacted so differently today? Something has changed and perhaps there are people that see global threats as an opportunity to advance new agendas? I try hard not to be a conspiracy theorist but there has to be something going on?
In October 2019, John Hopkins, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Economic Forum sponsored a “pandemic simulation” called “Event 201”. It was composed of representatives from government agencies,the United Nations, financial institutions and senior management of a number of major corporations including airlines, tech companies, logistic businesses like UPS and health corporations like Johnson & Johnson.
One of the speakers (unable to identify) suggested that awakening people to the serious threats facing humanity going forward like climate change where not being taken seriously enough and that more extreme measures needed to be considered if we were going to save the planet.
The objective of Agenda 201 was to consider major weaknesses in global preparedness in the face of a serious pandemic and to suggest ways of creating world-wide systems and organizations to effectively deal with an outbreak. A majority of the members are properly characterized as globalists that have been outspoken about their goals to bring about a new world order.
During the exercise a number of solutions were agreed to like mass quarantines and one proposed by a representative from Johnson and Johnson that suggested a “centralized” global economic authority to be in charge of funding and procuring and distribution of vaccines for all nations in a crisis to help fight pandemics.
It would seem some of Agenda 21’s suggestions were widely implemented as a result of COVID-19 but it also seems as if national protectionist policies emerged from the panic that spread from this pandemic and produced the opposite results hoped for in the conference. Instead of strengthening global organizations what seems to be emerging is a rise in the authority of nation states.
Going forward we need to understand just where our policies came from, how effective or destructive those actions where and how we can develop a better plan for the future. It is now very obvious that any plan needs to look beyond just the public health institutions to include financial, social and business interests as well.