The «Spanish flu» caused by birds, according to current knowledge it was also an aggressive corona virus of the subtype A/H1N1, ended 100 years ago after two years. Around 500 million people (25 percent of the world’s population!) were infected and over 50 million people died. In 1968, the two-year “Hong Kong flu” broke out with the A/H3N2 virus, with over 1 million deaths, including over 30,000 in Germany alone. In 1977 the two-year “Russian flu” broke out. Around 700,000 people died globally from this descendant of the A/H1N1 virus from northern China. In similar pandemics SARS, MERS, bird or swine flu in the past 20 years, highly pathogenic derivatives of the H1N1 virus were involved again, fortunately with a lower spread.
At the end of 2019, the Covid-19 virus spread from wild animals to humans in China. We can expect ultimately an estimated global toll of around 150 million infected people and up to 2.5 million deaths. However, the world population today is several times larger than during the pandemics of the 20th century. Therefore, from a statistical point of view, Covid-19 is likely to go down in history as an average-sized pandemic. Due to the global density of information and the higher level of prosperity, this current pandemic is perceived as more dangerous.
Thanks to vaccines developed in record time, this pandemic should last a few months less than previous pandemics.
The current “War against Covid-19” should realistically come to an end in a few months’ time. How will our world develop afterwards, taking into account the short half-life of human memory?