Compare the Covid-19 Pandemic with the Spanish Flu

Dan O'Heirity

I have written extensively about the fact that Covid-19, in Australia at least, has been far less impactful than seasonal influenza. This is true in terms of the number of confirmed cases and in terms of the number of confirmed fatalities. Another perspective on the Covid-19 pandemic is that the the impact of Covid-19 pales into insignificance compared with the Spanish Flu of 1918.

This is a reasonably lengthy video coming in at around 30 minutes but it is well worth watching the video in its entirety. Some of the key points for me included the fact that the Spanish Flu took hold amongst people in their 30’s and 40’s. Although it has proved impossible to find data comprehensively reporting the ages of those who have died from Covid-19, daily reporting in Australia clearly shows that the deaths are occurring amongst those who are 70 years of age or older. Furthermore, a very significant number of deaths – 328 according to this report – have occurred in aged care facilities.

At the time of writing, live data shows that there have been 600 deaths from Covid-19 in Australia. So, more than 50% of deaths have been amongst those in aged care facilities. People capable of having feelings would find this tragic. For me, it’s just a fact and the fact clearly throws into question whether this “pandemic” is really a pandemic. Sure, a pandemic is defined as a new disease that spreads around the world. However, looking more closely at the definition as explained by the World Health Organization, a pandemic differs from e.g. seasonal influenza in that the deaths are not just amongst the elderly. Deaths occur across all age groups. Not so in Australia. Covid-19 deaths have nearly all been amongst the elderly. I hope that one day we have world data reporting the ages of those of who have died from Covid-19.

The Facts of Australia’s Response to Covid-19 Do Not Fit the Figures

It would be an absurdity to claim that Australia has become a totalitarian state in the same way that China is a totalitarian state. However, for those with the eyes to see, our freedoms are being eroded. The measures that are currently being instituted to “manage” the Covid-19 “pandemic” might appear to be relatively innocuous in terms of their impact on our civil liberties but the reality is that restrictive rules and regulations are being instituted without any real justification. Although I am not generally a fan of Paul Murray, his video piece on the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrew’s rational for instituting a state of disaster is telling.

Basically, Andrews argued that 1 in 4 people who should have been self-isolating were found not to be at home when visited by police and, for that reason, Andrews instituted a state of disaster in Victoria including an almost complete lockdown and a curfew. However, comments from a spokesperson for Victoria’s police during a press conference fundamentally call Andrew’s figures into question. The real figures are that the police have conducted over 297,000 home checks and issued only 42 fines as a result of those checks. Staggering!

Daniel Andrews has also recently indicated that he wants the state of emergency in Victoria to be extended for a further 12 months, meaning that the state of emergency would run for a total period of 18 months. Andrews said that, “(The State of Emergency) is the legal instrument that allows rules about facemasks, about COVID safe work plans in workplaces large and small, that is the legal instrument that sits behind density limits in pubs and cafes and restaurants.” Extending the state of emergency will require amendments to the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 and if these amendments are approved then, for example, average Australians could be arrested for failing to wear a mask in public for a12 month period. Furthermore, as The Age points out, “It is unprecedented to put an entire state under what is effectively house- arrest, and keep them there indefinitely”. To be fair, the proposal is not to keep us under house-arrest indefinitely. The period would be for a further 12 months.

Now let’s look at some facts. The worldwide death rate from Covid-19, expressed as a percentage of all confirmed cases reported worldwide, continues to drop month by month. There was a time when the death rate was in double figures. Watching the figures over the past three months, the death rate has dropped from 7% to 6% to 5%. I would conjecture that figure will continue to drop until it reaches 1% or less. So, from a worldwide perspective, Melbourne residents are locked in their homes from 8 PM through to 5 AM for a “pandemic” that will likely prove to be no more severe than seasonal influenza. To put it another way, we are locked in our homes because those most susceptible to dying from catching a virus – the elderly – have in fact died.

We are also required to wear masks in public and we can be forcibly detained for not doing so even though there is a significant question over whether wearing of masks actually has an impact on the spread of Covid-19. Take a look at this truly shocking story of a woman being arrested in Melbourne for not wearing a face mask. Who knows what went on prior to the arrest but can there be any justification for a police officer choking a woman as he arrests her? I would hope that readers would all answer in the negative. Even more so, is this not the sort of story that we saw coming out of China in the early days of the pandemic? People being arrested and dragged off the street to be taken God knows where for God knows what purpose.

Why Are We Uncritically Accepting the Government Narrative on Covid-19?

There is a story from the Daily Mail in which Australian Council for Civil Liberties president Terry O’Gorman “acknowledged the worst global health crisis in a century required ‘an unusual response because the pandemic is unusual’“. Let’s just stop at this point. The worst global health crisis in a century. That is simply not true. HIV / AIDS is most likely the worst global health crisis this century with an estimated 77.3 million infections and 32 million deaths from HIV / AIDS related illnesses. Covid-19 should not even be mentioned in the same sentence as HIV / AIDS. Not to put too fine a point on it, we are being sold a lie about Covid-19. The question is, of course, why we are being sold this lie?

Is it the case that our political leaders are complete idiots who are incapable of interpreting statistics and contextualizing Covid-19 for what it is, a case of a new virus that will ultimately run its course and be no more serious that seasonal influenza. Well, I can quite readily believe that our political leaders are idiots but not to the extent that they are unable to see the reality of Covid-19. No, there is something else at play here and the question that suggests itself has to do with who benefits from peddling the lie that Covid-19 is a pandemic. Ah, but that way leads to the madness of conspiracy theory with shadow governments and nefarious leaders of conglomerates seeking to control us for goodness knows what reason. The truth is likely more straightforward. Politicians want to tell a “good” Covid-19 story in order to be re-elected.

Let’s consider another perspective on the virus, this time offered by two university professors. The professors have said that, “Protecting people and the economy . . . requires keeping restrictions in place for as long as is necessary to meaningfully suppress or eliminate the virus – not to get halfway there”. Again, this perspective is plainly wrong. We’ve shut down the Victorian economy because 600 people have died from Covid-19 with more than 50% of those deaths occurring amongst the elderly. Look at the facts. The facts do not fit the figures. On one estimate, the Victorian shutdown has cost Australia $9 billion. We’ve lost $9 billion for six hundred deaths. That’s $15 million dollars per fatality. Take a look at this video in which the Treasurer Josh Frydenberg puts some dollar figures against the cost of the Covid-19 virus in Victoria.

Let’s take just one figure from Freydenberg’s speech. Frydenberg says more than $12 billion dollars has been provided to Victorian employers as part of the job keeper program to keep employees in work. In terms of Australia as a whole the Federal Government has legislated A$130 billion to pay Qualifying Employers $1,500 per fortnight for each ‘Eligible Employee’ for the period of 30 March 2020 to 27 September 2020. My God, this is madness, particularly given the fact that more people in Australia died from seasonal influenza in 2019 that have died from Covid-19 in 2020. To state matters in another way. Take a look at this video that ranges across the questions of the lack of justification for extending the state of emergency.

The key point in that respect is that Daniel Andrews has just issued a dictate with no clear rationale or evidence supporting the necessity of extending the state of emergency for 12 months. The video also puts a focus on the fact that the Covid-19 problem has been particularly acute in aged care settings. In other words, Victoria failed to protect the very people who needed protecting, the aged.

Whilst I am not usually a fan of quoting social media comments on YouTube videos, this comment on the video does rather hit the mark.

Less than 40 people in ICU is NOT a “State of Disaster” or “State of Emergency”. It is a very mild Flu season“.

Spot on. Again, lies are being peddled but for what reason and to whose advantage. Seriously, you would have to be a complete and utter moron to buy into the notion that we are facing an unprecedented health crisis with Covid-19. Rather, something else is at play here. Perhaps, as Andrew Bolt suggests in the next video, the rights of the citizens of Australia are now being overridden by the fact of a dictatorial government that is taking away our freedoms because it is easier to put in place draconian laws – an 8 PM curfew for example – than to manage the Covid-19 situation without those laws. Basically, it’s much easier for police to catch people breaking the law when a curfew is in place.

Note Rowan Dean’s point in the video that the measures that the government has forgotten that the function of a democratic government is to serve the people. Rowan Dean also says that we are currently seeing the beginnings of a totalitarian state with the government instituting policies and laws for the “greater good” where the “greater good” justifies everything and anything. I know that people will think this point alarmist but one needs to take a longer term perspective to imagine what Australia could look like in 10 or 20 years time. In other words, the clear and present danger is not in the here and now. The danger lies in the future. Again, in this respect, note in the video the discussion of the removal of journalists who are trying to tell the truth about Covid-19. Of course, Australia is not China. Or is it?

First Published August 29th, 2020

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