• NMI

Is history repeating itself? How do stories from the 1970s echo in a New Millenium?

Remember 1976? The year when Ronald Reagan challenged Jerald Ford in the primaries. This was the year when Bill Gates sent a letter to computer geeks to warn them about his plan to remove open-source code from commercial computing, and this is the year when George H.W. Bush was the CIA Director.

It was also the year of the swine flu scare in the United States. In February of 1976, a mysterious virus surfaced at a military installation in the state of NY. Fort Dix, NY, became the home of patient zero, where a young man died unexpectedly after complaints of ill-being.

It was believed that he was infected by a "novel" virus that jumped from a pig to patient zero, and thereafter thanks to media amplification, it caused panic in the US public. As it turned out, that virus was the H1N1 influenza strain, dubbed as "swine flu."

President Ford marshaled the towering resources of the government and ordered the rollout of a mass vaccination program to combat this "novel" disease.

Merck&Co. was tapped to release the vaccine and was after that indemnified for any vaccine injury liability for the program.

Later that year, in October, mass vaccinations began. About 40 million Americans were injected in a short program that came to a screeching halt in December after only 500 people were identified with Guillain-Barré Syndrome(GBS). More than 30 people have died as a direct result of the vaccine. The population at the time was about 214 million.

It turned out there was no epidemic after all, and patient zero was the only person to die as a direct result of the virus.

Fast forward 43 years, and very little has changed. We find ourselves in a year of seemingly no significance. This year Brexit continues to cause turmoil in Britain and the EU. Donald Trump argues to pressure China in an ongoing "Trade Wars," and protestors have taken to the streets globally. This year was dubbed The Year of Protests by The Washington Post.

Coincidentally, the year when the event 201 simulation game of a new pathogen emergence would soon materialize and wreak havoc on the global populous' minds.

This time, in the United States, patient zero emerged in California. A middle-aged woman was identified and attributed as the first casualty of this new virus, SARS-COV2. Unfortunately, this time there were many more to follow.

As a consequence, yet again a vaccine program was devised. President Trump marshaled the towering resources of the federal government and warp speeded a vaccination program into existence.

Pfizer and Moderna were tapped and, after that, indemnified by the government, thereby releasing them from damages, harm done, or long-term consequences by the failure of their products related to the pathogen.

The year is 2020, when only after a short 6 Months of warp speed development and planning, in December, the first injections roll out to the public.

As the vaccination program is still ongoing, over 163 million Americans were injected, which is about 50 percent of the population.

By July 2021, over 645 cases of GBS were reported, and 11,940 people have died due to the ongoing vaccination program.

To put this in perspective, in 1976, a mere 0.000075% catastrophic vaccine failure was sufficient to call an end to the program. Today, that number is over 195.96% of that of 1976, and there is no apparent public outcry to put an end to it.

Clearly, history does not repeat itself. Living participants, descendants, and scholars learn and understand precisely what components of past events need to be improved for effectiveness for best-desired outcomes; therefore, future events can only share vague resemblance of past fiascos, like that of the 1976 swine flu pandemic.

That is why the 2009 swine flu pandemic was never a reminder of the pandemic that "was not" but instead went down in history as the first N1H1 pandemic.


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