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The Black Death

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Someone (who I don’t know) sent to me a friendly e-mail applauding my recent AIER piece on covid-19 being no categorically unique threat to humanity [2]. This person tells me that one of his relatives believes quite the opposite – specifically, that covid-19’s eventual impact on humanity might come to rival that of the Black Death of the mid-14th century. The Black Death, recall, wiped out, in a mere five years, one-third of Europe’s population [3].

So my correspondent’s relative believes that covid-19 might well, within five or so years, wipe out approximately 110 million Americans.

My. Oh. My.

I have no first-hand confirmation that my correspondent’s relative really said such a thing, and you have no first-hand confirmation that I’m here writing truthfully. But given the continuing hysteria with which people are reacting to covid-19, I believe that my correspondent writes the truth about his relative (and you should have no trouble believing the truthfulness of my report). People’s risk assessments regarding covid-19 seem to have absolutely no grounding in reality.

2020 truly is, as Holman Jenkins wrote [4], “our year of living derangedly.”

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