Elvis Was King, Ike Was President, 116,000 Americans Died in a Pandemic, and Nothing was Shut Down

Posted by freedomforall 3 months, 1 week ago to History
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Like the current pandemic, there was a demographic pattern to the deaths. It hit the elderly population with heart and lung disease. In a frightening twist, the virus could also be fatal for pregnant women. The infection rate was probably even higher than the Spanish flu of 1918 (675,000 Americans died from this), but this lowered the overall case fatality rate to 0.67%. A vaccine became available in late 1957 but was not widely distributed.

The population of the U.S. at the time was 172 million, which is a little more than half of the current population. Life expectancy was 69 as versus 78 today. Even with shorter lives, it was a healthier population with lower rates of obesity. To extrapolate the data to a counterfactual, we can conclude that this virus was more wicked than COVID-19 thus far.

What’s remarkable when we look back at this year, nothing was shut down. Restaurants, schools, theaters, sporting events, travel – everything continued without interruption. Without a 24-hour news cycle with thousands of news agencies and a billion websites hungry for traffic, mostly people paid no attention other than to keep basic hygiene. It was covered in the press as a medical problem. The notion that there was a political solution never occurred to anyone.

Again, this was a very serious flu, and it persisted for 10 years
SOURCE URL: https://www.aier.org/article/elvis-was-king-ike-was-president-and-116000-americans-died-in-a-pandemic/


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