Corona as seen from an historical and statistical perspective

Guest Columnist

As I spoke to others about the current pandemic, I was struck by how little they knew of pandemic history and statistics. They thought that a pandemic was a death sentence to those infected and the solution has always been to shut down the entire society. So my motivation is to share some pertinent facts.

In fact, pandemic is nothing new and our society has never been totally shut down in response to it. As a naturally occurring event, Corona cannot be controlled by humans.



A pandemic is classified as a natural occurrence with disastrous results for humans—  like hurricanes, earthquakes, forrest fires, and volcanoes.  A pandemic occurs when a new virus is introduced into the human population and that population has no immunity. So, the virus kills one% to three% of the humans affected and burns itself out in one or two years. This occurs approximately three times per century.

The worst pandemic in American history occurred in 1918 during World War One. Known as the Spanish Flu, this pandemic infected 500 million people world-wide and killed 50 million. Now, you might say “50 million sounds like a frightening number of deaths.” But, only 675,000 died in the US. Our society was not totally shut down and we continued to fight and win World War I.  The Spanish Flu killed more people world wide than the war, a demonstration of the power of Mother Nature.

In 1957, another pandemic called the Asian flu emerged. It killed 116,000 Americans.  Our society was not totally shut down.

The next pandemic came only 10 years later in 1968. It was known as the Hong Kong flu and killed 100,000 Americans.  Still, no society shut down.  Then again in 2009 the Swine Flu pandemic struck and killed a mere 12,469 Americans. Obviously, there was no need for a shut down.  This pandemic was well within the lifetime of most Americans and they don’t even remember that event.

In all of the above cases society was not shut down  There was no need to shutdown.  It was not an invasion from Mars and it was not a death sentence for everyone infected. The current Corona virus, like these previous pandemics, is yet another one  of the events that occur naturally on planet Earth.

Humans cannot control Mother Nature.  How do we stop a hurricane, or an earthquake, or a volcano?  We don’t. We can only react to the power of Mother Nature.  How do you prepare for a completely new virus?  We don’t know anything about it. It is new and there is no vaccine. Development of a vaccine is a year away. Who is the target? Children? Young adults? Seniors?  One cannot rely on the last pandemic because this one is completely different.  So why does our leadership think that they can control it?



Corona is only one of the threats that face humans trying to survive on planet Earth.

Before this pandemic, Americans did not focus on death, but rather on life. We were living our lives, taking risks and enjoying the gains or learning from our mistakes. The only time one focused on death was when an airplane crashed or mass shooting occurred. And then, we would say, “Oh, how could that happen? Who is responsible?”

So I was shocked to find out in my research on Corona that 7,700 Americans die each and every day of something. I started to think…so 500 people died

of Corona today…what did the other 7,200 people die of? And why isn’t CNN talking about that?

Well, 80,000 Americans died of the ordinary flu last year.  Every year 36,000

die from gun violence, 38,000 die in car accidents, 47,000 kill themselves and 170,000 die from all types of accidents – the number 3 cause of death in the US.

So now tell me again about the 500 people who died from Corona? And why does the media report on the Corona deaths 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?

Some people have a Corona death app so they can track it, hour – by – hour. Several weeks into the Corona death news CNN reported,  “The first child has died”,  so close all schools and stay home.”

As of April 10, three children died of Corona. So we shut down every school in America in response.  Why is Corona treated differently than every other pandemic?  Why has Corona generated so much fear among  Americans?


Two reasons for our fear

The democratic elected government officials think that they have the power to control Mother Nature.  They blame each other for not being ready.  They think that they can stop the pandemic by switching to an authority form of government. Promoting fear is a way to motivate their citizens to suspend their lives and surrender their constitutional rights to obtain perceived security from the unknown.   Benjamin Franklin said, “Those who would give up essential Liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”  But then, what did he know. As president FDA said, “We have nothing to Fear but Fear itself.”  The  promotion of fear and the shut down of our society is unprecedented in American history.

The media promotes fear  by constantly reporting on Corona deaths because it is good for their business.  So we have Americans ordered to stay in their homes, ordered not to work and receive a paycheck, ordered not to operate their business and face bankruptcy. Now they are all watching the Corona death count hourly on TV.



Focus on life and living. 7,700 Americans die each day of something. It is part of the world we live in. End the shut down and focus on life…

Lawrence E. Mercker is a retired US Air Force Colonel and pilot. He resides in downtown Sarasota with his wife Kathleen who is also a retired Air Force Colonel.  They play tennis and enjoy the view of the Sarasota Bay.

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4 Responses for “Corona as seen from an historical and statistical perspective”

  1. Andrzej says:

    Well said, Yes;
    “…Focus on life and living….”

    Thank you.

  2. Barbara says:

    Well said!!
    So true, many of the population need to open there eyes!!
    Thank you

  3. Rachelle says:

    Exactly! Here! Here! Thank you!

  4. Ruthann OBrien says:

    Your article was so well written. Very educating, It certainly made me think.
    I agree with every word.
    Thank you, Ruthann OBrien

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