Viruses, bacteria, and fungi can develop into major, worldwide epidemics and pandemics.

Today, the United States population is around 330 million. One hundred years ago, it was approximately 106 million. The COVID-19 pandemic has infected around 43 million people, of which just under 700,000 have died, and about 33 million have recovered.

The Spanish Flu The 1918-1919 Spanish Flu is the worst pandemic to hit the United States. We lost just under 700,000 Americans, with most of the victims under five years of age, between 20 and 40 years of age, or over the age of 65. The total deaths are approximately the same as death from COVID-19; however, the population of the United States is three times higher than it was in 1920.

The H1N1 virus (of avian origin) spread worldwide and killed 50 million people. Compare this to a bit over 4.6 million today for the COVID-19 virus. Estimates of 500 million people (one-third of the world’s population at that time) became infected. Unfortunately, incomplete records will never let us know the actual number of Spanish Flu deaths.

No medicines or vaccines existed to counter the spread and mortality of the Spanish Flu. Quarantine, personal hygiene, disinfectants, social distancing, and other measures were used to curb the infection rate.

COVID-19 Mutations (variants) will come and go with any viral infection. Some will be more virulent or more transmissible, and others will fade rapidly. The Delta surge is one of the more transmissible variants of COVID-19.

We develop antibodies from infections – viral, bacterial, and fungal. Those antibodies aid our immune systems in recognizing and counter future invasions of those same diseases. H1N1 exists today as one strain of seasonal influenza, but many people have a natural immunity to it or get the flu shot each year. The H1N1 virus waned because of herd immunity and mutations.

Pandemics This link has a great graphic of the deadliest plaques/pandemics in history. The Black Plaque (1350-ish) and Smallpox (1520) scourges have killed more people than COVID-19. The Plaque of Justin (540) has similar death accounts to the Spanish Flu.

COVID-19 deaths are rapidly catching the death rates from HIV/AIDS (1981-present), the Third Plague (1855), and the Antonine Plaque of 165-180. Unfortunately, just when it appears that COVID-19 is under control, a new variant pops up and surprises us.

The United States, Brazil, India, Mexico, and Peru have the highest deaths attributable to COVID-19. Israel is a country with the highest vaccination rates, and through August of this year, the daily death rate was two people or less a day. Since then, the average number of cases has soared from under twenty a day to over 9,000, with death rates near thirty a day. Those stats are now receding.


Yes, we can compare many aspects of plaques from hundreds or a thousand years ago to our current pandemic. Vaccines can help lower the mortality rate of diseases. The COVID-19 vaccine reduces the severity of symptoms, keeping people out of hospitals and lowering the overall coronavirus death rate. However, the COVID-19 vaccine does not stop the spread of the virus.,you%20did%20before%20the%20pandemic.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin –



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