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Nobody knew there would be a pandemic or epidemic of this proportion. Donald Trump
We call it the Little Ice Age and it delivered two brutal blows to the inhabitants of medieval Europe ... The great famine ... The black death was one of the worst pandemics in history; it began not in Europe but in Asia as a direct consequence of the impact of climate change on rodents. Man on Earth with Tony Robinson IV: The Modern World, Channel 4 2009
The Black Death wiped out between a third and two thirds of the entire population of Europe. In England alone, more than two million people are thought to have died of it. ibid.
Baxter International’s Austrian Laboratory released a contaminated seasonal flu vaccine to 18 European countries. A Czech lab technician discovered contamination ... a highly pathogenic strain of Bird Flu. Many experts have confirmed that this is unlikely to have been accidental. The Austrian Health Ministry have issued assurances that the tainted vaccines have all been destroyed. A WHO investigation found no case of negligence. Baxter is tasked with developing the vaccination for the predicted global Swine Flu pandemic. Baxter was given the ‘seed virus’ for Swine Flu in May 2009. The Company claims it will have a vaccine ready by the end of July 2009. But the government announced vaccines will be rush released ... after just five days! Ian R Crane, ‘The Truth Injection’
On 15th March the WHO announced a world-wide alert. Horizon: Sars: The True Story, BBC 2003
Sars killed about 4% of its victims. ibid.
Never in the history of Science has a new disease been sequenced more quickly. ibid.
This is the story of one of Science’s most significant encounters: pandemic disease born by infectious bacteria, viruses and parasites. Pandemic: A Horizon Guide, BBC 2012
In March 2009 a form of the H1N1 virus called swine flu ... put the globe under the latest threat of a pandemic. ibid.
Poor sanitation during the Second World War drove the reign of infectious disease. ibid.
Polio: at its peak eight thousand people were infected a year in the UK. ibid.
The long-term effects of vaccines were still unknown. And contaminated supplies had infected many of those they sought to protect. ibid.
By 1973 cholera had reached Italy and in the UK was making news. ibid.
Malaria has killed more people than any other disease ... And still kills one million people a year. ibid.
Malaria: the worldwide eradication plan had failed. ibid.
Malaria has received only scant attention. ibid.
AIDS: represented a potent brew of sex, death and sexuality. ibid.
The world’s most violent killer – the Smallpox virus. ibid.
In a phenomenal effort, a team of hand-picked doctors worked tirelessly to vaccinate or treat every case of smallpox. ibid.
It was deemed a public health miracle. By 1979 smallpox was the first infectious disease to have ever been eradicated from the world. In a stroke, millions of lives had been saved. ibid.
The pox viruses steal our genetic information. ibid.
Smallpox uses every trick there is. ibid.
The stocks weren’t destroyed. ibid.
Sars is the story of the modern plague – a virus that seemed to come from nowhere and spread panic around the world. ibid.
Sars claimed just 800 lives worldwide, whereas 5,000 people die from flu in Britain alone. ibid.
In 2003 we faced another deadly threat: the H5N1 virus, or bird flu. ibid.
Pandemics challenge our deep-seated belief that we are in control of Nature. ibid.
Pandemics will continue to be a biological and mathematical certainty. ibid.
Just over 100 days ago a deadly virus took [Covid-19] an unprepared world by storm. But as the world scrambled to react to this growing emergency, an astonishing global scientific effort began: to understand the nature of this new enemy and how to fight it. Horizon: Coronavirus, BBC 2020
We’re facing one of the greatest medical and scientific challenges in history. ibid.
This is a completely new strain … All viruses have to hijack the cells of other organs ... Viruses infect all life forms … Where do these new strains emerge from and why? ibid.
Scientists had mapped the virus’s gene and discovered it shares 96% of its genetic code with a virus found in bats. ibid.
South Korea: mass testing rather than lockdown to suppress the spread. ibid.
Recently, the Ebola virus threatened to sweep across the globe. And humanity had a preview of a possible future where millions suffer and die for pandemic diseases. Fighting Pandemics I: National Geographic 2015
The deadliest organisms are handled by space-suited technicians working in sealed bio-safety Level 4 laboratories ... Killers we have no defence against. ibid.
In pandemic viruses, evolution has created the perfect assassin: fast moving, evasive, and often difficult to detect before it’s too late. ibid.
The Black Death wiped out 75 million people, reducing the world’s population by a third. Strange Rituals s1e11: The Apocalypse, History 2009
1352, the Sahara: the largest desert on the planet … He [Ibn Battuta] left Morocco at age 21 vowing never to travel the same road twice. He has explored over 40 countries but this is his first time in the Sahara … The plague raging through Asia, Europe and the Middle East; it’s killed up to a fifth of the world’s population … but the Sahara is a barrier against the Pandemic. Mankind: The Story of All of Us VI: Survivors, History 2012
With the help of thousands of volunteers we are about to simulate the outbreak of a fatal contagion throughout the UK. Contagion! The BBC Four Pandemic, BBC 2018
In the last hundred years lethal strains of flu swept around the planet four times killing untold millions. ibid.
Spanish flu was a truly global contagion, a pandemic. ibid.
November 1918, Armistice Day: Around the world people celebrate the end of four long years of conflict. But there’s another horror unfolding in the shadow of war. A deadly virus sweeping the world. Schools and theatres are shut down. Coffins are piled high. The flu pandemic kills over fifty million people. Many of them die cruelly. The Flu That Killed 50 Million, BBC 2018
‘Another flu pandemic will happen.’ ibid. Professor Barclay
June 1918: Pandemic + 100 Days: 130 million infected in USA and Western Europe, 200,000 dead. ibid.
Only a small proportion of the people who were infected with this strain of flu died. ibid.
In September the flu virus returns and it’s mutated into an even more dangerous form … The virus kills more quickly and violently. ibid.
‘This blueness of the lips and ears was very obvious.’ ibid. Professor Barclay
October 1918: Pandemic + 210 Days: 1.4 million dead. The disease spreads worldwide. ibid.
July 1919, Pandemic +500 Days: Worldwide death toll up to 100 million. ibid.
‘Since I was in medical school it has long been a concern that there could be a highly transmissible, highly lethal, respiratory virus that could spread throughout the world very quickly.’ Race Against the Virus: The Hunt for a Vaccine, Channel 4 2020
For years a global network of leading scientists and doctors have been looking out for a deadly new virus. ibid.
In Wuhan 27 people have come down with a mysterious new disease. ibid.
In a little over a month cases across China have rocketed to over 17,000. ibid.
3,700 passengers and crew of the Diamond Princess are stranded on board when it is quarantined. ibid.
The new virus fits the bill for Disease X. ibid.