The Spanish Flu V’s The Common Flu V’s COVID 19
Distilling the viral facts of a pandemic
August 10, 2020
By Steve Holmes
There are 3 components to my focus.
- The Virus: If I get it, will it kill me, and if so how?
- The Pandemic: Will this kill me?
- How do all these viruses and pandemics tie in together?
The Spanish Flu is a subset of influenza A. (H1N1)
In 1918, the flu or influenza was not a known or recognized virus, in fact, there was no preorganized response for it.
The Spanish flu was probably more likely to have originated from France or China, it was ‘avian’ in nature, but this has never been able to be confirmed as fact. What is known, is that it did not originate in Spain, it was convenient in the day, to call it the French or Spanish flu, but since the King of Spain died of it and this was widely broadcasted, it became known as the Spanish flu.
The Pandemic factor of 1918
The then-novel flu virus was able to spread quickly and globally primarily due to WW1’s tightly packed soldier environments, which dispersed the virus back to their homes as the war came to an end, subsequently infecting many more communities around the allied world. There is no way of knowing the actual total amount of people who died of this virus, but 50 million is the historically accepted figure.
Commonalities of the pandemics
Firstly, what does the Spanish flu and COVID 19 have in common as pandemic events?
- They are both global events
- They are both viruses
- They both access and interfere with our respiratory functions.
- They both impact specific age groupings
After that, there is very little in common.
Globalization is a significant factor that appears to be underestimated not so much in its ability to transport the virus to all points of the globe, but economic dependence on it.
When “Aids” became an overnight reality a new reality, free sex anywhere anytime any way became the Omni focus, and understanding that change was needed if we humankind was to survive.
Today’s needs are yesterdays desires
This is the new reality – needs have changed or should I say our comprehension of them has changed.
This 2020 world is structured completely different from 100 years ago, we are no longer able to just shut everything down (lockdowns) and fix a problem – we are no longer very good at village-ing in this modern globalized world, localism is something we are going to re-learn over time. Yes, Smart Localism will become the vaccine to this pandemic.
Comparing the viruses
The common Flu (Influenza’s A,B & C) The common flu virus is 6.5 times more unstable than Covid 19 – what does this mean?
COVID 19’s replication process is far more stable due to its ability to “check and correct” its replication errors, which means the virus RNA signature stays the same (more reliable.) Ultimately this makes it easier for our immune system to overcome and eradicate any future recurrences. This also makes it easier for medical researchers to also understand and generate treatments. I think at the time of writing this comment COVID19 has created fewer than 10 mutations out of a possible 30,000.
The common flu spreads faster and wider due to its high replication and unchecked error rate, which makes it more difficult for the body’s immune system to recognize and respond successfully too.
The Spanish Flu – (Influenza A – subset H1N1)
The Spanish flu virus, infected tissue 39,000 times higher than other comparable flu viruses and had 100 times morbidity rate. There are 8 genes in the Spanish flu’s genomic profile with one gene in particular – Hemagglutinin (HA) a human protein that proved to be the lethal factor in it’s makeup. The inclusion of the HA protein enabled the virus to easily connect infected cells with healthy cells by clumping blood cells together.
Covid 19 nor other common flus have HA protein genes as a factor in their genomic profiles.
The majority of deaths in the 1918 Spanish Flu came from the very young, young adults and pregnant women. The older generation were largely immune – why was this? The older population had already been exposed to similar gene combinations over their lifetime and as such had built up an immunity.