Calm response to 1957 Asian Flu

This is a great piece comparing the unwarranted hysteria of 2020’s COVID outbreak to the 1957 Pandemic that is estimated to have killed 116,000 Americans (equivalent to 200,000 if you adjust for population size). Most people who lived through it are unaware it ever occurred, much like the 1968 Hong Kong Flu.

I especially like this old NYT headline:

Let us all keep a cool head about Asian influenza as the statistics on the spread and the virulence of the disease begin to accumulate.” ~New York Times editorial, Sept. 17, 1957

And this conclusion is spot-on:

What we didn’t have back then were mass media, social media, and the incurable virus of evidence-free panic propagation to induce an epidemic of fear and paranoia. While this current virus is worse than recent flu-like epidemics this generation, it is much more in line with the 1957 Asian flu and its sister, the 1968 Hong Kong flu. If you lived during the time, you most assuredly remember Woodstock, which occurred during the peak of the Hong Kong flu, but you are unlikely to remember the epidemic.

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