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Monday, 11 January 2021


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I'm not quite understanding the sobering comparison of the death numbers between a world war and a viral epidemic? I could see comparison of Spanish Flu or any other plague against the Covid numbers, but why WW2? Where is the prompt supposed to lead us?

But wait, isn't the virus a hoax?

Loved Hill Street Blues' Sarge, and the whole cast.

This comparison is good but should be a bit more complicated. Really you should look at death rates – in some pretend galactic civilisation of a trillion people, ten deaths matter a lot less than if they happen in a village of a thousand people.

If we correct this way, then CV19 US death rate is 0.1% so far. WW2 US death rate was 0.3%, so roughly three times higher.

But also compute the death rate per person per unit time which is really more important. Doing this: CV19 is about 0.0003% per person per day, WW2 was about 0.0002% per person per day. CV19 is one and a half times more likely to kill you in a given day if you live in the US than if you lived in the US during WW2.

(Based these on US population estimates from 1942 and 2020.)

But also important to remember that the US has not fought a really nasty war since the 19th century. Is complicated choosing death rates for other countries during WW2 because, for instance, Germany killed huge number of its own people who should certainly be counted but this was not really the war. And Russia / Soviet Union similarly is rather complicated. Well, perhaps UK: they at least were not massacring or starving their own people.

So equivalent for UK: UK deaths in WW2 were 449,700, UK death rate in WW2 was 0.9% (three times US one, again based on 1942 population), and death rate per person per day was 0.0004%. CV19 in UK: current deaths is 81,567 (JHU data, today): death rate is 0.1% (slightly higher than US in fact: US is 0.11, UK 0.12). Death rate per person per day is 0.0004% per person per day. In the UK the CV19 death rate per person per day is about the same as it was in WW2, because the UK lost more people and many more people as proportion of population than US.

And then we can take WW1 in the UK excluding the flu. UK death rate was 2% – this was a nasty war – and death rate per person per day was 0.001%.

So, well, really nasty wars (by western standards) do make it more likely to die on a given day than CV19 does, so far. But not any war the US has fought since the 19th century.

But if you come from where I was born ... well, best not to think about that: some sleeping dragons we should let sleep.

Also: sorry, cannot help being nerd astrophysicist and being interested in this.

...Total U.S. deaths so far from Sars-CoV-2 in 11 months and 5 days, according to the Centers for Disease Control: 318,786; according to Johns Hopkins: 374,341...

Of which more than 223,00 (at this moment) are the direct result of various actions and/or inactions of the illegal, illegitimate White House occupant:


...N95 is the U.S. standard; KN95 is the Chinese standard. According to 3M, it is "reasonable to consider" the two to be equivalent...

According to one of my medical providers, who's worn only N95 masks since this pandemic started, the main difference is how they're held in place. KN95s use over-the-ear elastic loops that, despite making wearers look like Dumbo, exert only limited force. N95s are retained by loops that go completely around the head, thereby facilitating a tight mask seal.

...Broadly speaking, the blue paper masks protect other people from the wearer; KN95 masks do that and also protect the wearer to a degree.

Blue paper surgical masks (and cloth masks) also protect the wearer:


I have a brother (from another mother) who, though intelligent, has become a QAnon follower. After a 3 hour conversation, I've come to realise the man, the father, the soccer coach, that I knew, no longer exists.

If social media had not existed, he would not be lost to that madness. Because instead of reading the 'information' online (which sadly lends it credibility), he would have to have heard it from someone else. And to hear it out loud, would surely make you think it the delusions of someone needing to be sectioned under the mental health act.

Half of your country, give or take, is briskly walking down the road to that insanity.

If there was no money to be made from hosting and/or promoting the sources of these lies - my friend would not be lost to it. And your democracy would not be as close to peril as it is.

It's often said in Australia that we are 5 years behind the USA in all trends. God. I hope not.

Dear John
The comparison is purely - and obviously - in the numbers of people that have died. There's not much room for confusion. The fact that one figure arose from three and a half years' involvement in a five-year-long World War, whereas Covid has managed 75% of that figure in less than a year, would cause most people to think 'holy ____', rather than 'huh?'. Put yer mask on.

Anyway. Many of the Americans aware of the soviet unionbut miss the chinese threat. you miss the source and look only at the cheap mask or later cheap whatsoever. Just looking inwards is not going to help. Just like last two world war. The problem is not internal but external. Or at least not just. The virus is not from USA in spite of a country trying to blame anyone. I do not believe that it was created. But you have so many p3 lab rushing to get the bottom of the original SAR in that country and so much research into bats it is a matter of time some accident happen. What is next I still believe not making it but accidents. May be human gene research, as they do it on human babies. Or human genes in monkey and pigs. And these are the real threat on the bottom.

On the top controlling who, ... good luck humanity. And trump is a messenger. Bad message. But do not look at the envelop. Look at the message.

In addition to what John said, I might add that WWII deaths are more apparent, more concrete to us, better comparators. We have Memorial Day and cemeteries that yearly appear in our news, online and in the papers that commemorate those deaths. The deaths from the 'Spanish flu', more properly the 1918 Pandemic Flu (H1N1), are much more abstract than those of WWII, independent of the years that have past. I don't know of any graveyards dedicated to the flu but I can point to Veteran's graveyards on a map or google their images.
The origins of that flu are obscure but it was first recognized in Kansas 1918. The WHO's naming conventions now discourage naming diseases with names such as Spanish or Wuhan. Is Legionnaire's (disease) a commemoration, a stain or just a fact? Pontiac fever may be a more appropriate name for the genus.

Perhaps another comparison would be worth considering. At present the U.S. is suffering more than one 9/11's worth of deaths every day.

The historical death rate in the U.S. has been virtually the same for decades, and 2020’s rate, with COVID, is statistically unremarkable. See https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/USA/united-states/death-rate

CDC has become pretty suspect. KN95s (ears traps)are not equivalent to N95s (headstraps).

The fit is entirely different and the protection is fit based. For me KN95s are very uncomfortable and I can wear an n95 no problem.

I do think that KN95s are superior to cloth masks. The most superior thing is not being around people.

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