As declining energy leads to lower farm yields, malnutrition and starvation will make people far more vulnerable to diseases. A lack of anti-biotics, and little transportation to get to medical facilities at some point down the oil depletion curve is an especially deadly combination. But even if energy were plentiful and cheap, we’d be in trouble, as Laurie Garrett explains in her book “Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health”.
Ill prepared for a pandemic. 6 march 2014. Klaus Stohr. Nature. Vol 507, p 820.
Over the last 500 years, there have been, on average, 3 severe influenza pandemics in each century. The most recent pandemic was declared in 2009. Yet despite much investment in public health and many improvements in vaccine production techniques and know-how, the availability of influenza vaccines during this event was far from adequate: 6 months into the pandemic, 534 million doses were available, and after 1 year that number had risen to 1.3 billion — enough for only 8% and 25%, respectively, of the world population. We were lucky that the pandemic declared in 2009 turned out later to be mild and that just 1 hsoutof vaccine was sufficient to protect most peope. This is not usually the case during a severe influenza pandemic.
Here is wikipedia’s definition of pandemic: an epidemic of infectious disease that has spread through human populations across a large region or even worldwide. Throughout history there have been a number of pandemics, such as smallpox and tuberculosis. More recent pandemics include the HIV pandemic and the H1N1 pandemics of 1918 and 2009.
The list of pandemics and death tolls in history are in wiki’s List of Pandemics. Here are the ones where over a million people died:
- 5,000,000 Roman Empire 165–180 Antonine Plague smallpox
- 25,000,000 Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire 541–542 Plague of Justinian bubonic plague
- 100,000,000 Europe, Asia 1338–1351 Black Death bubonic plague
- 1,000,000 Russia 1852–1860 third cholera pandemic cholera
- 1,000,000 worldwide 1889–1890 1889–1890 flu pandemic influenza
- 75,000,000 worldwide 1918–1920 1918 flu pandemic influenza
- 2,000,000 worldwide 1957–1958 Asian flu influenza
- 1,000,000 worldwide 1968–1969 Hong Kong flu influenza
Notable pandemics and epidemics
- HIV and AIDS
- Yellow fever
Possible future pandemics:
- Viral hemorrhagic fevers (Ebola, Marburg, Lassa, Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever, etc.)
- Antibiotic resistance
- H5N1 (Avian Flu)
- Biological warfare
- Hendra virus infection
- Nipah virus infection
- Rift Valey fever
- Viral hepatitis
This is the History Channel’s depiction of the SHingTF during a global pandemic. It makes you think about our future should be loose 2/3’s of the worlds population while watching a family survive wave after wave of attacks by thieves and destitute marauders.