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The last pandemic - the Hong Kong flu 1968/69

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Post by CanuckBob on Sun May 17, 2020 8:45 pm

The Hong Kong flu killed up to 4,000,000 people worldwide. I would have been 6 years old. I don't remember anything about it nor missing school or seeing people in masks. Do any of those older than me remember the world being in chaos during that pandemic. Covid 19 has killed 312,000 people thus far........

https://www.britannica.com/event/1968-flu-pandemic

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Post by MexicoPete on Sun May 17, 2020 8:57 pm

I was in southern Germany while serving in the US Army. I have no recollection of the Hong Kong flu
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Post by CanuckBob on Sun May 17, 2020 9:07 pm

No internet, no 24 hour news channels, no BS poltical correctness.....makes one wonder if things are getting blown out of proportion???

And Pete doesn't even remember hearing about it........

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Post by ferret on Sun May 17, 2020 9:40 pm

Your link says between one million and four million. It also says that those of us who were around in 1957 probably had immunity to the 1968 flu. 1969 was the year of Woodstock.
I'd have to go and search but I don't recall asymptomatic people being spreaders nor do I remember the loooong incubation time that this one has.
It was a normal respiratory flu without any of the curve balls that this one is throwing at us and the deaths occurred over a two year period. That's not to denigrate the loss of life that occurred but I don't think there's any comparison.
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Post by CanuckBob on Sun May 17, 2020 9:52 pm

Apparently not.......according to the talking heads and social media. This is one of the only issues I'm with trump on. Lets get back to living life with a few adaptations.

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Post by Jreboll on Sun May 17, 2020 9:59 pm

CB I believe you were making the same argument back in February when there was only a handful of cases in North America. Let’s wait to see how this plays out. Flattening the curve doesn’t mean there’ll be less deaths. It just means some of us can get a head start and do something to survive. Those in nursing homes have no way of getting out of the way but sone of us do. As Satchel Paige said “Don’t look back, something might be gaining on you”

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Post by CanuckBob on Sun May 17, 2020 10:04 pm

Yes, while I was touring SE Asia. I still haven't changed my perspective however I am following proper safety protocols such as masks and hand washing but I still go out all the time.

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Post by CanuckBob on Sun May 17, 2020 10:09 pm

Being a small business owner who is bleeding about $3000 every month I guess I have a different perspective. At least in Canada and the US small businesses are getting some help. Nada down here.......I'm just glad I have no mortgage to pay on my house.

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Post by mattoleriver on Sun May 17, 2020 10:39 pm

Hong Kong flu hit at just about the height of the Viet Nam war. The war was a sexier news story.
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Post by mudgirl on Mon May 18, 2020 12:12 am

The CDC info says about 1 million people died worldwide from Hong Kong flu. And that covered the period from July 1968 to early 1970, a year and a half. We have almost a third that many deaths from COVID in 5 and a half months and the death rate is rising in many places. That flu killed 33,800 in the US. How can you compare that with almost 90,000 deaths in a few months and say coronavirus is no worse?

International travel and tourism has increased hugely since 1968. That is obviously going to spread a highly contagious disease much quicker and wider.

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Post by Smartalex on Mon May 18, 2020 12:33 am

Vaguely, I remember the Hong Kong flu. Had a lot on my table in those days...and this wasn't much of a concern. However, I do remember a swine flu scare in the 1970s that caught my attention. My ex-wife informed me she was taking our daughter to the doctor to get the two of them vaccinated. I implored her not to subject our daughter to experimentation with an unproven vaccine to a hypothetical epidemic. She went ahead with the vaccinations anyway. That particular vaccine did a lot more harm than good...and there was no swine flu epidemic. Fortunately, the ex and our daughter were not adversely affected by the vaccine.

I do not consider myself an anti-vaxxer. But I do believe vaccines, and pharmaceuticals in general, must be proven safe and effective before they are given to the general population. Considering the rampant incompetence of the current U.S. government and health-care industry, if a vaccine becomes available to the Covid-19 virus I doubt I will take it.

Add: More info on the 1976 swine flu debacle...

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/long-shadow-1976-swine-flu-vaccine-fiasco-180961994/
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Post by HoneyBee on Mon May 18, 2020 7:43 am

1968, to busy running around on what was still farm land near the Geneva international airport. Beer

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Post by gringal on Mon May 18, 2020 8:22 am

The big difference between then and now is the explosion of information availability. Back then, computers were not everywhere, so "social media" wasn't yet the massive spreader of information and misinformation.

The world now is one exclamation point after another.

As for the choice between opening up or not...there is no good answer.
Either way, we get suffering.

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Post by ferret on Mon May 18, 2020 8:30 am

A big thank you to that explosion of information and sharing. If not for that, I think the death toll would be absolutely devastating.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/something-weve-never-seen-before-scientists-still-trying-to-understand-baffling-unpredictable-coronavirus/ar-BB14eZ3B

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Post by HoneyBee on Mon May 18, 2020 9:37 am

I forgot to mention that when AIDS came around I went out and bought condoms. With the current virus I went out and bought face masks. Funny thing is that I already had soap at home. Very Happy


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Post by espíritu del lago on Mon May 18, 2020 11:20 am

100 million people locked down Jilin China, 2nd wave.
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Post by solajijic on Mon May 18, 2020 10:16 pm

My physician father took my two sisters, me and our mothe to the hospital in mid-January to expose us to the Hong Kong flu. He wanted controlled exposure all at the same time if he could get it. He did. He hired two nurses for us. My mother had just a cold but felt terrible, my youngest sister had a bad flu couple of days, my middle sister was very sick and took about a month to recover and I had maybe 4 or 5 days of a really bad cold. So we all had different levels of illness.
Thinking about that, if you could have exposure with medical oversight and access would you consider "getting it over with"?

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Post by Jreboll on Mon May 18, 2020 10:54 pm

This is not the flu. It’s a whole different animal. Having said that, the viral load or the number of organisms that assault you at that given moment may influence the outcome.. this plus all the other factors already mentioned will determine the end result. Knowing all that go ahead and take a tiny needle of saliva from an infected person, put it ina a glass of water and put a drop of that on your tongue and let us know what happened. I’m dying to know.

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Post by Jreboll on Tue May 19, 2020 7:47 am

More attention is being placed on those having fragile health. There are more senior citizens, patients who are immune compromised for cancer treatments or other ailments. Perhaps our population is not as strong and resilient as it used to be.
Look at what happened when Europeans came to America and decimated the native Americans. There are no easy answers.

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Post by mudgirl on Tue May 19, 2020 8:17 pm

Jreboll wrote: Perhaps our population is not as strong and resilient as it used to be.

I absolutely believe this is true. For those of use who are seniors now, our grandparents for sure and even our parents, to a large extent, grew up on real food- there simply wasn't any junk food in existence. As the generations consume more and more junk food (I didn't consume a lot as a child- my mom was health-food conscious even back in the 50's- we had a typical NOB diet of meat and potatoes and a few veggies for the most part, but she didn't buy us sugary breakfast cereals or have candy, pop or other crap around the house).
So for each generation that eats poorly, I think the health of the population gets worse and worse. Then of course there is so much pollution, chemical fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides- this has to take a toll. Even things like electric light- humans used to get up with the sun and go to sleep shortly after the sun went down. I would imagine that living in harmony with the natural world also leads to better health.
There's book called The Tooth Truth, which my daughter had. There are face photos in it of 3 generations of people from a rather isolated tribe somewhere- could have been Africa or the Amazon, I can't remember. The oldest generation has beautiful, perfectly formed teeth. The subsequent generations, when they had access to Coca-cola and other junk shows a breakdown of their teeth- not just cavities, but the actual form of their teeth and jaw changed- gaps between teeth, crooked teeth, overbites and underbites.

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Post by gringal on Wed May 20, 2020 8:28 am

I agree with mudgirl that the proliferation of junk food has been one of the largest factors in the declining health of the population. I'll add the influence of Big Pharma: there's a drug for every discomfort as well as the ones needed for serious disease. Moreover, there seems to be an illlegal drug epidemic that resulted in the current miserable situation where Mexican cartel sellers are prospering from U.S. addicted buyers.
None of this is leading to a good conclusion, as in "strong and resiliant".

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