, , , ,

Flu 1918-19 police

I don’t worry much about the 15 disasters on the official “List of Scenarios” from US Homeland Security Preparedness Activities because, as horrible as these are they are not likely to destroy all humanity. If, or when, they do happen they will be coped with by existing social mechanisms. They listed pandemic flu as the most deadly, and most likely. It is possible that the flu may be vastly worse than what Homeland Security predicts because they appear to base their analysis on the 1918-19 events which killed one in a hundred. But the current bird flu last January killed 11 out of 13 — generally it kills only 2 out of 3 — and that rate was with excellent hospital supportive care, of constant help with appropriate drugs and oxygen, which will not be available in a pandemic. New flus are inevitable, but that ghastly pandemic event, when it comes, will probably be from a weak mutated virus, and will probably not be as humanity annihilating as it appears it may be at present. Unless, perhaps, these diseases have been militarily enhanced by Ken Alibeck or his unrepentant bio-weapons developing ilk. People born before 1958 will have been vaccinated against smallpox, Alibeck’s favorite agent, and might survive, but those born later are unlikely to survive. Of course such a military style biological attack would be a mix of many deadly pathogens not just smallpox, so the multiple attack would probably get almost everyone. If the flu was really, really bad and killed 9 out of 10 people, out of a current population of 6.7 billion people that would still leave 670 million people. That is approximately the total world population back in 1730 when the industrial revolution was just getting started, and no one was complaining about lack of people at that time. Quite the contrary that is when Jonathan Swift made his Modest Proposal – For Preventing the children of poor people in Ireland from being a burden to their parents or country, and for making them beneficial to the public, by eating them. This is painful, if comic, reading even 280 years later. The mindset that could think such a way even in satire is upsetting. My point is that even so appalling a flu event, a DISS~10, would not be humanity destroying. Also, a flu event would strike in the Southern hemisphere as well as the Northern, and the Lifehavens would not be helped by their southerly status, but they would be much better off by being on very remote islands, and isolated from the infection. Because of modern radio communications they would be completely aware of the problem, and could close up their facility to the outside world, for over a year.