400K Infected Here?

That’s the headline on the front page of today’s CA.
“If Memphis metropolitan area residents don’t take social distancing seriously and don’t stop going to work, more than 8,000 people could die and more than 400,000 people could be infected, according to data presented to local leaders.”
Or not.
The writer goes on to say that that is the worst case scenario given to local health leaders by experts and advisors.
So far, we have had no deaths from the corona virus here, as far as I know.
Hysterical headlines like this one really don’t serve any purpose. They are hypothetical and most hypotheticals never come to pass in my experience.
It’s good to stress the need for social distancing, but realistically that can only work for so long. People can’t keep up with the stress without reaching a breaking point.
I was curious as to how Memphis fared in the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic by comparison.
There is a very interesting breakdown of it in a 2011 issue of Memphis magazine by Michael Finger. It’s entitled “The Return of the Spanish Lady? The 1918 flu pandemic was one of the greatest killers in history. Is there a chance it could happen again?”
There are two parts to it. You can see them here: https://memphismagazine.com/features/the-return-of-the-spanish-lady/ and https://memphismagazine.com/features/the-return-of-the-spanish-lady-pt-ii/.

The flu hit us in September of 1918 and almost 500 Memphians died of it. In New York, the toll was 33,000.
The first Memphian who died of it here was Elliott Fontaine, of the prominent Fontaine family. He died quickly in his bedroom of the family mansion, The Woodruff-Fontaine House.
The mayor shut down schools, churches, places of amusement, “movie picture houses,” dance halls and restaurants.
The CA at that time – not surprisingly for journalistic predictions – said “There is no reason whatsoever for hysteria.”
The Spanish flu hit people between 20 and 60 the hardest. This one is different. Today, also, we are much more aware of how a virus gets from one person to another.
Read both articles. They are quite instructive.

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