Pandemics, Epidemics and Vaccines

Epidemic

While we are in the middle of a pandemic, let us see what history tells about pandemics. And before I forget, what vaccine we developed to fight those pandemics throughout the history. I forgot, and the epidemics. All  of them.

  • First of all, let us see what an epidemic is. An epidemic is the rapid spread of disease to a large number of people in a given population.
  • Second of all, what is a pandemic? A pandemic is an epidemic of an infectious disease that has spread across a large region, for instance multiple continents or worldwide.
  • And third, what is a vaccin? A vaccine is a biological preparation that provides active acquired immunity to a particular infectious disease.
  • And at last, but not the least, did we have any epidemics or pandemics before the corona pandemic?  Yes. The first pandemic (or epidemic if you want) started 1,200 BC in Babylon, Central Asia, Mesopotamia and Southern Asia. Sanskrit scholars found records of a disease resembling the Flu. How many people died or were infected or were hospitalized or got what vaccine is unknown. It is too long time ago. But they suspect strongly that the epidemic was influenza.

But to give you some nice historic perspective, there were many epidemics and pandemics in the world. Between 129 million and 512 million people died because of it. And there were about 260 epidemics and pandemics throughout our history. I bet you didn't learn that at school, not?

How did those epidemics and pandemics end?

Did they use vaccin for that? No.

To say it in plain English (or my English/Dutch variant): it burned itself out. Today we have a fancy English sentence for that. They eliminated the epidemic by non-farmaceutic means.

When an epidemic is raging through a population, it kills a part of it, infect most of it and can't find any new hosts (people) anymore, because those who were infected once were recovered and immune and the rest died.

A child with smallpox in Bangladesh in 1973. The bumps filled with thick fluid and a depression or dimple in the center are characteristic.
A child with smallpox in Bangladesh in 1973. The bumps filled with thick fluid and a depression or dimple in the center are characteristic.

For example, the Antonine Plague. That one happened in the old Roman Empire between the year 165–180 (possibly up to 190) and killed between five and ten million people. It might have been smallpox.

Or another example, the Plague of Justinian. That happened between the year 541 and 542 and it killed between 15 and 100 million people, (25% - 60% of population of Europe). It was the Bubonic plague.

Or here is another juicy one.

Here we have the Black Death. The Black Death raged between the years 1346 until 1353 in Europe, Asia and North Africa and killed between 75 and 200 million (10–60% of European population again) people. It was the Bubonic plague.

Do you still think that the corona pandemic is a deadly pandemic? Okay. Here is another one.

In 1545 there was the Cocoliztli Epidemic, which wiped out between the 5 and the 15 million people or 80% of the population in Mexico. That was caused by the Salmonella enterica.

Here, maybe I can spoil your appetite, the Cocoliztli epidemic of 1576. Also that one was in Mexico and it halved the Mexican population with 50%.

Then we had the 1707–1709 Iceland smallpox epidemic with 18,000 death (or 36% of the population), and the Great Northern War plague outbreak in 1710 with 164,000 death, the Great Plague of Marseille in 1720 with more than 100,000 death, and the list continues on and on. That's a truth you don't learn  that at school than maybe some vague references.

And I can guarantee that such list is not complete, because before 1200 BC there were for sure many other plagues, epidemics and pandemics. And between 1200 BC and now there were many more, but it managed to kill off anyone infected and/or it raged through isolated populations somewhere in the world.

From year To year Minimum death Maximum death
165 747 20,000,000 112,025,000
1300 1399 75,000,000 200,000,000
1400 1499 27,000
1500 1599 12,605,020 26,232,000
1600 1699 15,750 3,379
1700 1799 48,430 2,514,564
1800 1899 47,500 17,479,899
1900 1999 21,221,110 147,922,269
2000 2099 197,700 2,794,866

The above table describes a table-like trip through history. It describes the people who died because of epidemics and pandemics. Those could be our forefathers and mothers if they had a chance to live. But they didn't.

If you study this list, and you will be aware that we live between the year 2000 and 2099 with currently between 197,700 and 2,784,866 death because of epidemics and pandemics. The previous century was that between 21 and the 148 million death because of the same reasons.

For your information, there were 71 epidemics raging through the world between 2000-2019. Here is a list:

2000 Central America dengue epidemic 2000 Central America Dengue fever 40+
2001 Nigeria cholera epidemic 2001 Nigeria Cholera 400+
2001 South Africa cholera epidemic 2001 South Africa Cholera 139
2002–04 SARS outbreak 2002–2004 Worldwide Severe acute respiratory syndrome / SARS 774
2003 Algeria plague outbreak 2003 Algeria Bubonic plague 1 (18 cases)
2003–2019 Asia and Egypt Avian influenza epidemic 2003–2019 Southeast Asia and Egypt Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 455
2004 Afghanistan leishmaniasis epidemic 2004 Afghanistan Leishmaniasis 0 (3,958 cases)
2004 Indonesia dengue epidemic 2004 Indonesia Dengue fever 658
2004 Senegal cholera outbreak 2004 Senegal Cholera 2
2004 Sudan ebola outbreak 2004 Sudan Ebola 7
2005 dengue outbreak in Singapore 2005 Singapore Dengue fever 27
2006 Luanda cholera epidemic 2006 Luanda, Angola Cholera 1,200+
2006 Ituri Province plague epidemic 2006 Ituri Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo Bubonic plague 61
2006 India malaria outbreak 2006 India Malaria 17
2006 dengue outbreak in India 2006 India Dengue fever 50+
2006 dengue outbreak in Pakistan 2006 Pakistan Dengue fever 50+
2006 Philippines dengue epidemic 2006 Philippines Dengue fever 1,000
2006–07 East Africa Rift Valley fever outbreak 2006–2007 East Africa Rift Valley fever 394
Mweka ebola epidemic 2007 Democratic Republic of the Congo Ebola 187
2007 Ethiopia cholera epidemic 2007 Ethiopia Cholera 684
2007 Iraq cholera outbreak 2007 Iraq Cholera 10
2007 Nigeria polio outbreak 2007 Nigeria Poliomyelitis Unknown (69 cases)
2007 Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and Mexico dengue fever epidemic 2007 Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Mexico Dengue fever 183
2007 Uganda ebola outbreak 2007 Uganda Ebola 37
2007 Vietnam cholera outbreak 2007 Vietnam Cholera 2
2007 Netherlands Q-fever epidemic 2007–2010 Netherlands Q-fever 74
2008 Brazil dengue epidemic 2008 Brazil Dengue fever 67
2008 Cambodia dengue epidemic 2008 Cambodia Dengue fever 407
2008 Chad cholera epidemic 2008 Chad Cholera 123
2008–2017 China hand, foot, and mouth disease epidemic 2008–2017 China Hand, foot, and mouth disease 3,322+
2008 India cholera epidemic 2008 India Cholera 115
2008 Madagascar plague outbreak 2008 Madagascar Bubonic plague 18+
2008 Philippines dengue epidemic 2008 Philippines Dengue fever 172
2008–09 Zimbabwean cholera outbreak 2008–2009 Zimbabwe Cholera 4,293
2009 Bolivian dengue fever epidemic 2009 Bolivia Dengue fever 18
2009 Gujarat hepatitis outbreak 2009 India Hepatitis B 49
Queensland 2009 dengue outbreak 2009 Queensland, Australia Dengue fever 1+ (503 cases)
Mumps outbreaks in the 2000s 2009 Worldwide Mumps Unknown
2009–10 West African meningitis outbreak 2009–2010 West Africa Meningitis 1,100
Influenza A virus subtype H1N1 151,700-575,400
2010s Haiti cholera outbreak 2010–2019 Haiti Cholera (strain serogroup O1, serotype Ogawa) 10,075
2010–2014 Democratic Republic of the Congo measles outbreak 2010–2014 Democratic Republic of the Congo Measles 4,500+
2011 Vietnam hand, foot and mouth disease epidemic 2011 Vietnam Hand, foot and mouth disease 170
2011 dengue outbreak in Pakistan 2011 Pakistan Dengue fever 350+
2012 yellow fever outbreak in Darfur, Sudan 2012 Darfur, Sudan Yellow fever 171
2012 Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus outbreak 2012–present Worldwide Middle East respiratory syndrome / MERS-CoV 935 (as of 4 July 2020)
2013 dengue outbreak in Singapore 2013 Singapore Dengue fever 8
2013 Vietnam measles outbreak 2013–2014 Vietnam Measles 142
Western African Ebola virus epidemic 2013–2016 Worldwide, primarily concentrated in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone Ebola 11,323+
2013–14 chikungunya outbreak 2013–2015 Americas Chikungunya 183
2013–19 Avian influenza epidemic 2013–2019 China Influenza A virus subtype H7N9 616
2014 Madagascar plague outbreak 2014–2017 Madagascar Bubonic plague 292
2014 Odisha jaundice outbreak 2014–2015 India Primarily Hepatitis E, but also Hepatitis A 36
2015 Indian swine flu outbreak 2015 India Influenza A virus subtype H1N1 2,035
2015–16 Zika virus epidemic 2015–2016 Worldwide Zika virus 53
2016 Angola and DR Congo yellow fever outbreak 2016 Angola and DR Congo Yellow fever 498 (377 in Angola, 121 in Congo)
2016–20 Yemen cholera outbreak 2016–present Yemen Cholera 3,886 (as of 30 November 2019)
2017 dengue outbreak in Peshawar 2017 Peshawar, Pakistan Dengue fever 69
2017 Gorakhpur Japanese encephalitis outbreak 2017 India Japanese encephalitis 1,317
2017 dengue outbreak in Sri Lanka 2017 Sri Lanka Dengue fever 440
2017–18 United States flu season 2017–2018 United States Seasonal influenza 61,000 (46,000–95,000)
2018 Nipah virus outbreak in Kerala 2018 India Nipah virus infection 17
Kivu Ebola epidemic 2018–2020 Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda Ebola 2,280
2019 measles outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo 2019–2020 Democratic Republic of the Congo Measles 7,018+
2019–2020 New Zealand measles outbreak 2019–present New Zealand Measles 2
2019 Philippines measles outbreak 2019–present Philippines Measles 415
2019 Kuala Koh measles outbreak 2019 Kuala Koh, Malaysia Measles 15
2019 Samoa measles outbreak 2019–present Samoa Measles 83
2019–20 dengue fever epidemic 2019–present Asia-Pacific, Latin America Dengue fever 3,930
COVID-19 pandemic 2019–present Worldwide Coronavirus disease 2019 / COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 virus 2 million+ (as of January 2021)
2019 Nigeria Lassa Fever epidemic 2019–present Nigeria Lassa fever 240 (as of 5 December 2020)

 

 

What about the corona pandemic?

And there is a difference between the coronavirus pandemic and most other types of epidemics and pandemics throughout the recent history.

Leishmaniasis
Leishmaniasis

For most of the epidemics, the medical world has developed vaccines to fight the epidemics and were successful stopping many of them, except a few. One of those few is the influenza pandemic. That one comes back each year when the populations lives close together because of the (cold and wet) weather, easily infecting each other. The repeating influenza pandemic works similar like a lockdown, where loads of people concentrating themselves in a small number of places, like supermarkets, vaccination centers, testing centers, hospitals, clinics and at their homes close together.

Also the influenza is mutating each time, so each year the medical world needs to develop a new vaccine for the new variations.

The medial world didn't develop any vaccine (which works) for the corona, yet. That is another difference or a similarity with the old epidemics and pandemics. The medical worked focused itself mainly on developing a different type of vaccine, which is never tested. Theoretically it will work, but in practice it is still not proven that it does. If that works, we don't know. It still needs to proof itself. The old saying "Don't fix what is not broken" comes to mind.

And there is another difference. The coronavirus is not designed/developed as a deadly virus. A deadly virus is for example the virus causing Dengue fever, Measles, Lassa fever, Ebola, Nipah virus infection, Japanese encephalitis, Cholera, Yellow fever, Bubonic plague, MERS-CoV, Meningitis, Poliomyelitis, Rift Valley fever, Leishmaniasis, Typhoid fever, Encephalitis lethargica and the list goes on and on.

The coronavirus causes complications with those with serious underlying diseases and might cause death because of that or causes further serious ailment with that group of people. That is the hard truth.

And then we have the fear factor, the panic. Influenza causes 56,000 people per year to die. That is 153 people per day. 35 million people get infected by influenza per year. Pneumonia is also common in our world and that kills 2.5 million people per year, 7014 people per day. And guess ... nobody is panicking, nobody is closing the nation, nobody goes into isolation or in lockdown and there are no websites with the latest statistics, no media screaming doom and destruction, no politicians who try to weaponize the pneumonia. No, it was always part of normal life. And don't forget cancer, which kills each year 9.5 million people, 26,027 people per day, more than corona worldwide. And still the media are not getting crazy with wild stories and fake news, no lockdowns or new vaccines or politicians misusing the opportunities.

The cure kills more than the pandemic

If you go back in time, only about one year, you have for sure noticed that in America, President Trump was leading a successful campaign to be a very successful President for the US. His policies slowed down wars, he didn't start new wars, the American economy was booming and breaking almost each day new records, baffling most of the economists. He also managed to upgrade or save the working classes of the US and lifted them to new heights, more money, more spending, jobs for everyone and tough international policies against anyone who tried to get free money from the US or would become a threat, which happened constantly for many years. He even managed to bring down poverty in the US.

In that time, the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020, the panic and fear for the corona pandemic didn't exist.  The chance that the Democrats had to win back the presidency and the Senate was nihil and they would guarantee lose the house too.

But then a blessing arrived in the form of an exploding corona pandemic worldwide. It was a blessing for the Democrats and only because of that, and maybe some other reasons as well, they won the American election of 2020. How did the Democrats accomplish that?

They weaponized the pandemic. They weaponized the social media and what was left of the mainstream media. They used the pandemic to fight Trump. They used the pandemic to stir up the masses and populations in America  (as extra side effect also all over the world) to fear it. It is deadly, and it kills! It brings down everything and they continued the demonize Trump, the Republican party and anything what Trump did and said and accomplished, whatever it was.

They started a campaign of terror, uproar, panic, violence, looting, tension, threats, burning down buildings and shops, attacking people with everything they have, using any form of media, social media, mainstream media, politics, uprizing, demonstrations and this happened 24 hours a day without break. The Democrats tried to stir up the old old race differences, they weaponized social trends, social groups and directed them att Trump and his supporters.

Trump and his political party saw this coming but didn't do anything to counter that (except complaining and moaning), and the result is that they were too late and lost the elections. You must realize that 85 million people voted for Trump and they love the man. 100 Million Americans didn't vote, as usual. Trump and his supporters were so sure that they would win the elections with a landslide! They believed that at the beginning of 2020, and they still believed that at in November 2020.

But this tactic of the Democrats had a very bad side effect (for everybody), which influenced the whole world. A terrible fear of the coronavirus pandemic. If someone sneezes somewhere near a bus stop, people move quickly away, fearfully looking at the sneezing penetrator, fear in their eyes. "Corona!" some people whisper and everyone else thinking it, trying to keep the distance.

Scientists didn't help at all. They came up with all kind of fantastic theories and overblown estimates, and the masses of people went into a frenzy. The media ate it up and did their thing to get a full grown panic going through almost all populations. You saw it with the weaponized social media, who used their commercial power to ban and silent opponents of the opposing philosophies, hinder any political activity not Democrats or political left. You saw the rise of some scientists, who wanted to be politicians.

While the pandemic spread and intensified, government didn't have a clue what to do about it. This situation was a situation from a horror flick and unprecedented. Well, not fully unprecedented, there was China with their special brand of closures and the falsification of the truth as the only available model.

The governments were looking for possible solutions. One of those solutions was presented by the pharmaceutical companies, who claimed that they could develop vaccines as fast as possible. And that was the direction most, if not all countries would chose for. They would try to keep the pandemic at bay as good as possible, while giving the scientists the time to develop the vaccine.

During those times, the Democrats, and the mainstream (social) media continued with their campaign weaponizing the pandemic against Trump.  It was the under the leadership of Trump to push the pharmaceutical companies with resources and support to develop the vaccines, which normally takes multiple years, in a few months. That combined accomplishment would lift anyone to the Guinness Book of records. But it was Trump, so it was evil.

In the meantime the various governments and several American States forced shutdowns on their populations as a way to "control the infections and mortality" and to "keep hospitals floating and working". And during those shutdowns, the anti-Trump campaign went so far that it was busy to destroy everything what was Trump or anything associated with the President. The damage of the social structure of American society is large and growing. The gaps between the two sides widened and the Democrats tried to keep it growing.

The Democrats went even so far that it supported terror states like Iran over America with Trump in charge of it.

The US population's fear of the pandemic only went up to unreasonable, unprecedented levels. This not only happened in the US, but also outside the US, like Europe.

At the end, the Democrats got what they wanted, they won the presidency, the house and the senate. And it is very likely that the Republicans will break into parts. You can't ignore more than 85 million people without any political backslash.

But now that the Democrats are in charge, they are confronted with the social and financial damage they have unleashed, and the unreasonable feelings of fear and anxiety of the masses.

They, and a big part of the world, have no other option to fight the pandemic in one way:

  1. Develop the vaccine
  2. Try to control the outbreak of new infections and corona death
  3. Vaccinate everyone

We are now in phase three of the only available plan. Under Trump leadership the vaccines were developed. Trying to control the outbreak of new infections, governments enforced multiple national and local shutdowns, causing terrible damage to the populations and the economies. And currently they are in the process of vaccinating everyone, many still in shutdown mode. That will be a very slow campaign, and will last for many years (they don't have).

What governments don't understand is that shutdown their countries, they generate alarming number of infections. Scientists, who are advising them, give advice based on medical grounds, ignoring the rest.

If, God forbid, the vaccinations are not successful at all (today it is 48 days ago we started to vaccinate the populations and still no proven and visible signs that the vaccines are working), than we are in deep problems. There are other options to fight the pandemic, but because of the feelings of fear and anxiety of the populations, the deeply grounded anxiousness for the coronavirus, there is no other alternative possible.

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