May 24, 2020


I hesitate to add to the cacophony surrounding the corona virus, but these are ‘unprecedented’ times, or so that’s what I’ve heard and read a thousand times.

If I ever see that word again it will be too soon.

Challenging? Yes

Unusual? Of course

Unprecedented?Aabsolutely not. And not even unpredicted.

This pandemic was preceded by H1N1 flu virus (1918 flu pandemic, 2009 swine flu), SARS (2003) and MERS (2012), both corona viruses.

The 1918 flu pandemic killed 50 million people worldwide, with 675,000 Americans. With Covid-19 to date about there are 338,000 deaths worldwide, with 96,000 in the US.

It is partly through experience and lab work with SARS and MERS that we know what we do about corona viruses.

So any novel viral outbreak in the world (not to mention Ebola (2014-2016), and current outbreaks as we speak) has the potential with our world wide travel to cross continents and the world in days to infect every human.

Such is the reason for official surveillance organizations, such as WHO and threat organizations in the US. But recent funding cuts have decimated their abilities to research and communicate.

And even when the siren call went out, it went unheeded. Disregarded, quashed even, because “There will be no bad news on our watch!!!! It might affect the stock market and even worse chances for re-election”.

As far as combating the virus, every nation was on their own, and in our nation every state was on their own. No UN, WHO or other coordinated international effort. No national plan for supplies or resources to address the most needy areas. Not even leadership that demonstrates proper behavior and responsible use of medication.

To combat an international problem requires international cooperation, not name calling or finger pointing. National problems require a national plan to limit damage and death as much as possible.

This will pass, or so they say. But this will not be the last novel virus. History will judge our response to this one, and God help us to be prepared for the next. Cause it’s coming.