You Make a Difference! Our mission and operations are funded entirely by Patriots like you! Please support the 2021 Year-End Campaign now.

Cornwall Alliance / March 16, 2020

Will We Survive the Coronavirus? Lessons From History

The ongoing global emergency over coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused considerable fear. As of March 16, there were about 175,000 confirmed cases. About 6,700 deaths and 80,000 recoveries have been reported.

By Vijay Jayaraj

The ongoing global emergency over coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused considerable fear. As of March 16, there were about 175,000 confirmed cases. About 6,700 deaths and 80,000 recoveries have been reported.

The fatality rate of COVID-19 — deaths per number infected — appears to be about 0.25–3.0%, with elderly and immune-suppressed people being especially vulnerable.

The drama surrounding COVID-19 should remind us that the world is better equipped to deal with it today than ever before. Here are some examples.

Improved Healthcare, Disease Control, and Longevity

Epidemics such as leprosy, plague, syphilis, smallpox, cholera, yellow fever, typhoid fever, and other infectious diseases were common before the 21st century.

These diseases killed hundreds of millions around the globe. The worst was the plague of the 14th century. Commonly known in Europe as the Black Death, it is estimated to have killed between 75 and 200 million people in Europe, Africa, and Asia.

The Spanish flu of 1918 was the last big pandemic and is estimated to have killed at least 50 million people.

With the advent of modern medicine, pharmaceutical industries, and biotechnology, the healthcare system around the world has improved. The discovery and use of vaccines worldwide led to the eradication of many life-threatening diseases.

We have become efficient in dealing with highly infectious and contagious diseases, eradicating most of them and increasing longevity.

Global life expectancy stood at around 72 years in 2017. It was only 52 years in 1960 and about 29 years in 1770.

We are now likely to live longer and healthier lives than those who lived during the 1700s and 1800s.

Improved Agriculture, Better Nutrition, and Less Poverty

Our ability to cope with diseases and other natural challenges is contingent on factors other than medical progress. Access to basic amenities, healthy nutrition, and a robust energy infrastructure all play an important role in the prevention and containment of diseases.

People around the world are increasingly gaining access to clean drinking water, less polluting energy sources, housing that protects from adverse weather, and nutritious and hygienic food that can meet their bodies’ needs.

In 2017, 90% of the global population had access to basic, and about 70% to safe, drinking-water sources.

The global agricultural sector has improved by leaps and bounds in the past five decades, thanks to improved agricultural technology and careful genetic breeding of crops. These advancements resulted in high-yielding, disease-resistant crops.

The yield of all food crops has increased during the past seven decades. As a result, more people benefit from adequate nutrition, making them less susceptible to fatal diseases. The malnutrition percentage in developing countries fell from 35% in 1970 to just 13% in 2015.

People across the world now have better access to energy (except for Africa). Affordable energy, from fossil fuels, means people can protect themselves from deadly cold in winter and deadly heat in summer.

In 1820, 84% of the world lived in extreme poverty. By the 1990s only 24% did. World Bank data suggest that fewer than 10% of the global population lived under extreme poverty in 2015. 

Almost all measures of human health and welfare in our world have improved over the years. The coronavirus scare is here for the time being, but it won’t be long before we find medical breakthroughs for COVID-19 and other diseases.

Vijay Jayaraj (M.Sc., Environmental Science, University of East Anglia, England) is a research contributor for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation.

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

★ PUBLIUS ★

“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2021 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.