At least 5 million dead worldwide from Covid

Originally published at: At least 5 million dead worldwide from Covid | Boing Boing


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Some MAGAts will still continue to insist it’s a hoax and refuse to get vaccinated, right up until they gasp their last breath on a hospital bed they don’t really deserve.


" overtaking the 2nd-century Antonine Plague to become[ the sixth-worst pandemic in human history."

It’s worse only if you ignore how much more people the world has today. It’s estimated the world population has grown 68 million this year, while he Antonine Plague is estimated to have killed 10% of the population of the Roman Empire. It’s a sign of progress that we treat this as a great disaster.

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It IS a great disaster, because we had the ability to keep more people safe from this pandemic and many, MANY places made the decision NOT to do that. Real people, people that are HERE on this message board, were impacted by this. Not a single person today knows someone who died in the Antonine Plague or the Black Death. And the current one is ONGOING…


As bad as the anti-vaxers in the USA are, the main problem the article points out is vaccine inequity- that is, the large parts of the world who haven’t even gotten a chance to get vaccinated yet. If the world’s governments really want to conquer this pandemic, one wonders why more effort isn’t being made to distribute vaccines to those in need, especially since the anti-vaxers are causing an unexpected surplus.


I’m not sure that “COVID isn’t as bad because it hasn’t killed the same percentage of the population” is as stellar an argument as you think it is. The Antonine plague was either measles or smallpox, both of which are hilariously transmissible and deadly without vaccination (and Wikipedia cites a source saying that it killed 25-33% of the population, not 10%). COVID has a mortality rate well below 5% and yet we’ve still lost over 5 million people to it because, frankly, we haven’t taken it seriously, we haven’t treated it like a great disaster, and many people in positions of authority still aren’t. In fact, it’s being treated as already over and done with, despite cases being orders of magnitude higher now than they were when we first tried to lock everything down, simply because people in charge are tired of trying to deal with it.

The way things are going, this is going to get much worse before it gets any better. Which is infuriating, because we have ALL of the tools we need to stop it. We just won’t.


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We’ve eradicated smallpox and most are vaccinated against measles. That is progress, and why a new disease with low mortality is seen as a disaster. I doubt the Romans would even have noticed Covid among all other diseases, had it occured then.

The downside of this is that people may feel too safe, that they don’t have to worry or take precuations. I still think being able to rapidly develop a vaccine that has saved milllions of lives is a sign of progress, even if the fact that too many refuse to use it shows that humanity as a whole isn’t necessarily any smarter.

The big issue looming at the horizon is antibiotic resistance. If nothing is done, that could in the not too far away future turn into a real disaster, undoing much of the medical progress we’ve made. It’s possible that the current pandemic will get more people thinking about future threats like this and allocating resources to fight them.

Five MILLION people is a disaster.


We’re not Romans. The Roman empire is LOOOONG gone. Centuries of history has happened since the end of the western empire. Quit fetishizing the Roman empire as the only thing in history that mattered and all must be compared to it…

That’s no reason to brush off the death of five million people as unimportant.

It hasn’t even cause SOME people to take THIS threat seriously.


And so you’re telling us…not to treat it as a great disaster? :confused:


Well, it’s ONLY 5 million people… not a big loss. /s

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Look, all he’s saying is that per capita misery is down, and that’s all that matters.


You put it like that…

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Population has grown a lot, so a human life is worth so much less now than it was in Roman times! Which I guess means things like entertainment must have been extra important to them.


The original article by Beschizza brought up that comparison. I even quoted the passage.

I’m saying that modern standards it is a disaster, but that’s because of progress that has eliminated so much else.

Nor do I understand the statements on how world population doesn’t matter. By that standard the world was a far better place back in the Roman era, and even better in the paleolitic, simply because there were less people. Go back to a point where the world population was less than five millions people, and no matter what happened it couldn’t be worse than COVID.

Here in Colorado, USA, society has collectively decided that the pandemic is over. There is no state mask mandate, there are precious few local mask rules, and there are no limits on gatherings. Everything is just fine now. the local news has for the most part stopped carrying the case counts. the state no longer requires daily reporting from hospitals. We’re all free and safe and can get back to normal!

But, oops, we’re getting destroyed.

Case growth is staying high, and we are on track to exceed last year’s cases. If you look at the area under the curve of the case reporting, we’ve got far more people ill than previously. That’s a lot of suffering. Needless suffering.

Since we’ve not done a damn thing to limit this, our hospitals are overwhelmed. Not nearly-overwhelmed, or overwhelmed soon, but truly screwed.

The other night, every hospital in the Denver metro area was closed to ambulances, which basically means that no hospitals were closed to ambulances. So the one tool we have in the ERs to limit care rationing and danger was effectively gone.

Statewide, hospitals are over 93% full, & ICUs are over 93% full, and that includes little fake hospitals that don’t actually take sick patients. Real hospitals are bombarded. ICUs are being staffed 3:1 and 4:1. ERs are holding dozens of patients for hours to days. Sometimes we have to wait for someone to die to get a bed. One local hospital went on divert last week bc they had no available ventilators. Wait times are triple and quadruple just to get seen, not to get admitted.

I’m off to work. The governor is due to address the state in a few minutes. My ER staff doesn’t know how we’re going to get through this. Frontline staff can’t solve these problems.


Still irrelevant to whether or not 5 million human being - real people, with families, friends, lives, etc - dying is a tragedy.

No one is saying that there aren’t worse tragedies than covid. People are saying that this is a still ongoing tragedy right now, because we could have done better. Maybe we shouldn’t ignore that.


Does that work both ways? If there is nothing you can do, it’s not a tragedy? By that standard the roman plague was less of a disaster than Covid.

Yes, we could do better, we can always do better. Humans are far from perfect. When people realized that rats where somehow involved in spreading the plague, a bounty was put on rats, counted by handing in rat tails. As a result some people started breeding rats, cutting off their tails and then releasing them.

I still think we have progress, however unpopular that opinion seems to be.