I'm working on a short story about a pandemic, so I'm reading a lot of non-fiction books about various pandemics. One of them, written in the 1990s, is about the flu pandemic of 1918, and the author notes in wide-eyed wonder that if such a disease struck today, a million people would die in America, and six million worldwide.
Deaths from COVID-19 worldwide are currently at 6, 626, 455. Deaths in the US are 1,102, 688. (Source is here.)
Apparently people behaved equally badly during the 1918 pandemic, refusing to wear masks, wash their hands, or self-quarantine. There were also conspiracy theories -- for instance, that Bayer aspirin mixed the flu virus in with their aspirin tablets, in order to make more people sicker. Why am I not surprised.
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