Hyperbole Pandemic Update

The Washington Post rings forth with the thrilling and commercially viable — er, I mean deeply disturbing and alarming — news that “Global deaths from virus soar past 100,000.” How, one wonders, are pandemic death tolls measured for speed, in order to determine which death tolls are “soaring” and which merely “plodding”? 

Not being an expert on the art of stoking global pandemic pandemonium, I will not pretend to understand such measuring systems. I will, however, in my humbly non-expert fashion, merely throw my usual glass of cold water on the heated language-users.

Point of comparison:

The new coronavirus pandemic is, according to official estimates, related to more than one hundred thousand deaths worldwide, so far.

The 1918 flu pandemic, commonly dubbed the “Spanish Flu,” is routinely estimated to have been related to more than fifty million deaths.

And for a bit of added perspective, our 100,000 losses have been taken from a world population of roughly 7.7 billion. The 1918 flu’s 50,000,000 losses were bled from a world population of merely 1.8 billion. 

That is in no way to diminish any individual person’s death. On the contrary, I wish to rain on the parade of those trying to play the dehumanizing “big numbers” game to sustain the global panic they are so keen to create, in their dire struggle to promote their commercial and/or political agendas.

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