Don’t panic folks. Influenza is and always has been a killer, most especially of the elderly. Every time you see an obituary of someone over 70 dying of “pneumonia”, that’s probably influenza-caused. Two years ago, after a bad flu season, 80,000 people had died of flu in the U.S. – that was 219 fatalities per day, every day, for a year. Imagine how many non-lethal cases there were. Millions. Easily.
Every one of us has had, probably within the past decade, an influenza that killed tens of thousands of people at the same time. I had a strain of flu when I was seventeen that laid me out such that I literally could not speak. I got it from my grandmother, who was hospitalized with it for a week. I should have been hospitalized, but it was hospitalization or college, so… yeah. I went ahead and drank Gatorade at home and saved the five figures.
Why is it that people getting sick, and some people even dying from this one type of influenza is the end of the world, but people contracting and dying of the other kinds of influenza is no biggie? We all talk about “flu season” and flu “going around”. Why is this different?
And can I just say as an aside, if you freely choose to get on a giant boat with FIVE THOUSAND other people in close quarters for ten days, why would you expect to NOT contract whatever colds, flus, and whatever other mildly contagious bugs are on that boat? I cannot for the life of me understand “cruises”. Ick.
Why the difference? Hmmmm?
Just keep perspective. Millions of cases of flu per year with tens of thousands of fatalities. Every year.