Definition of Pandemic

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A friend of mine pointed this out the other day. Based on this definition can we apply the meaning to the Covid 19 crisis?

Let’s take a closer look at this and determine whether Covid 19 is actually a pandemic. Let’s look at the actual statistics and compare them to the expectations of what a real pandemic is all about.

Looking at that definition we need to look at two parts of this sentence to see if it actually holds wait when comparing this definition to the Covid 19 crisis. Notice I am saying crisis, not pandemic. I am not at all convince that this is a true pandemic in the sense of this definition.

First of all it says “occurring over a wide geographic area.” well we can say that in this Covid 19, it is occurring over a large geographic area. It is occurring all over the world. More than 100 countries are affected by it and more stats are being reported daily.

But so does the flu spread across many countries around the world taking thousands more in a shorter time span and yet no one called it a pandemic. Infact, no one really takes much notice to it when it takes lives.

Oh, but people say that this is a new novel virus. So that is why it is dangerous. I am sorry, but that group of viruses have been around for years, decades and possibly centuries.

Using that same argument, with the exception of some of the more common viruses like Influenza A or B, most flu viruses that affect you and I are actually new as well. They are no more or less new to our systems than the coronavirus.

So even though it may fill the whole pandemic idea of being widespread, so do many other viruses.

Let’s take a look at the second part of that definition, “Affecting an exceptionally high amount of the population!” Most people think this is true but here is where the men and the boys are separated.

The Spanish Flu of 1918 affected about 1/3 of the world’s population. As much as 60, 000, 000 deaths occurred from this flu. This flu was actually H1N1, the same flu that circulated in 2009 to 2010 (also known as swine flu). It only affected a little more than one fifth of the amount of people that it effected in 1918 at 1,632, 710 of confirmed cases.

Current Flu stats (including seasonal flu stats) in the USA alone states that as much as  56, 000, 000 people had contracted some sort of flu illness in this past flu season of 2019/2020 with as much as 62, 000 deaths.

Covid 19 worldwide statistics show that 2, 468, 733 (as of the date this was published) were confirmed positive cases. To date, we have seen 169, 794 deaths. And people are crying – PANDEMIC.

The first example of Spanish flu more appropriately fits the term of pandemic. It has the greatest proportional number of confirmed cases occurring over a wide spread area. Even the recent outbreak in 2009 doesn’t come near the outbreak numbers as it did in 1918.

Even the whole spectrum of flu outbreaks in the USA alone could be considered a pandemic in the USA but you have to remember, those stats collectively include all flu-like illnesses during that flu season. Figuring it out for the entire world is difficult because many countries only include the common known varieties like Influenza A, B, H1N1 & H2N3.

So with this terminology, the flu season really doesn’t fit into the whole pandemic idea as well.

Applying this determination, is Covid 19 really a pandemic. Yes numbers are increasing. But has it increased to the percentage as did the Spanish Flu in 1918? No… fact the average country has a population rate of less than 1%. Fatality rates may be quoted as higher but the fatality rate is figured out as the deaths out of the positives. Not deaths out of a given population. There is a difference.

Health & Government officials must get a better definition of what pandemic really is. Are they using the fear of a potential pandemic to clamp down on their people? You decide!

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