A plague on all your houses?

Global population regularly culled  2 June 2020

The Financial Review of 30-31 May 2020 carried a New Statesman story with a score chart of deaths from pandemics through history.

The horrific death tolls ranged from 200 million during The Black Plague (1347-51) to the 770 due to the SARS epidemic (2002-03).

The list read left to right across two pages and there were 13 events of one million deaths and more. Covid-19 was 14th with 360,000. Sadly, this number will increase and was 375,000 at time of writing.

Rearranging the list into years offers up a pattern. Some thing, be it God, the earth itself or another presence, decides an extreme culling of human life should happen every 30 years at the absolute most.

The pattern runs from 1817 through to Covid-19 and by conveniently adding the US Civil War, World War I and World War II the numbers begin to gel.

Before 1817 the ravages were more widely spread but some of the numbers extraordinary.

The published list showed the Plague of Justinian (541-542) killed 50 million (the story said “up to 100 million”). There were 200 million people in the world during the 6th century (worldometer.info)* so did somewhere between 25 and 50 per cent of the world’s known population die?

“Comparative studies, based upon statistics derived from incidence of the same disease in late-medieval Europe, suggest that between one-third and one-half the population of Constantinople may well have died, while the lesser cities of the empire and the countryside by no means remained immune”

Encyclopedia Britannica website

It is perhaps wrong to compare because the health benefits of 2020 are superior to the year 542 but Covid-19’s 360,000 deaths in a world population of about 7.8 billion is a very, very small percentage matched to the Plague of Justinian.

So what is the message here? Is nature telling us there are too many people on the planet and the earth can’t cope?  

Every 10 to 28 years in the modern era, some natural menace emerges beyond our control to kill vast swathes of the population. Pitch in major wars and the thinning of human life has occurred within near every two decades for the past 160 years.

Assuming the 35 million killed by HIV/AIDS is ongoing, the 28-year gap between its emergence and Swine Flu could be considered in less years’ terms.

Using that comparison, these events have been narrowing in yearly gaps since World War II. They are beginning to happen about every 10 years since 1958.

Australia has handled Covid-19 well and must be one of the healthiest countries in the world. Perth is the healthiest place to live in Australia.

Our city and our wider country is going to be an attractive place for opportunity.

It will also be a safe haven the next time swathes of the population are culled.


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