We Look at the Big Picture as the U.S. Exceeds 400,000 Dead Due to Coronavirus

As the U.S hits a major milestone, we step back and look at COVID-19 in comparison to past disasters, potential future disasters, and even post-apocalyptic fiction.

The earth seen from space at night. Image from Pixabay.

The United States has seen more than 400,000 deaths attributed to COVID-19, even as the rate of new COVID-19 cases drops. 

Depending on your perspective, that’s either a large number or a tiny one. For example:

  • If you do the math based on a U.S. population of 330 million, that’s about 0.12 percent of the population. 
  • That’s about the same number of Americans killed in World War II (407,316), although our population was only 132 million in 1940
  • It’s far more than died in the Vietnam conflict (58,220) or Afghanistan and Iraq (7,056).
  • It’s below the 675,000 deaths that occurred in the U.S. as a result of the Spanish Flu, which took place when we had a population of 103 million, but it is far more than the 116,000 U.S. deaths believed to have been caused by the H2N2 flu in 1957.
  • It is estimated that small pox killed 300 million in the 20th century and untold numbers before that, including vast numbers of Native Americans.
  • It’s less than the 700,000 or so deaths attributed to HIV/AIDS in the U.S.

Of course, if it has affected you or one of your loved ones has died, then that is more impactful than any number.

COVID-19 Pales as a Disaster

As I wrote months ago, I believe COVID-19 is far below the prepper threshold of SHTF situations.  For example, compare the 0.12 percent of people who have died to the 90 percent population loss expected within a year after a major EMP or similar disaster. 

Look at popular post-apocalyptic fiction, which I have dubbed “Prepper Lit,” and most of the end-of-the-world scenarios have mass casualties with cities burning, people dying on a mass scale, cannibalism, and a world without the rule of law (WROL).  Even popular end-of-the-world TV shows like The Walking Dead, Revolution, or Snowpiercer showed very few survivors.

So let me be clear to preppers and those thinking about becoming preppers: This is just a drill.  Use your COVID-19 experience to project what something ten or 100 times worse would look like.  If you think the toilet paper and canned soup shortage of 202 was bad, imagine what would happen if 10 percent of the population was wiped out, the electrical grid went out, or part of the West Coast was nuked.  Imagine what would happen if a massive tidal wave swept the major population centers on the East Coast, a volcanic eruption dumped ash over the crop producing states in the Midwest, or a giant earthquake like the New Madrid quake of 1811 caused the Mississippi River to flow backwards and knocks down building in the Western half of Tennessee.

COVID-19 Policy Impact

Far more dangerous than the disease itself is how all levels of government have used the emergency to usurp more of our rights, to give themselves “emergency powers” that never before existed, and how it has changed our country for the worse.

Some of the bad things that COVID-19 has led to include:

  • A massive expansion of executive power at the county and state level as health directors and governors exercised powers to control the population.  In prior epidemics, the sick were forced to stay home.  This time, everyone was.
  • Shutting down private business and fining or penalizing those that try to stay open.
  • Massive unemployment, with about 40 million people losing their jobs.
  • The beginnings of an economic collapse in which a rapidly rolling economic train was derailed, sending the country into an immediate recession.
  • The giveaway of billions of dollars to businesses and people, creating about $4 trillion in new debt, with more expected to be passed after Biden is president.
  • A transfer of wealth from the poor to the wealthy as billionaires grew richer and people making under $30,000 a year grew poorer
  • It is possible that this is paving the way for Universal Basic Income, in which the government just gives people money in an attempt to fight poverty.  This is just one of the socialist policies that was jump-started by COVID-19.  Another example is the eviction and foreclosure moratorium, which protects renters at the expense of landlords.
  • Now the Biden Administration is using COVID-19 recovery as an excuse to raise the 15 minimum wage to $15 per hour, bail out Democratic cities using money from non-residents, and more stimulus checks.
  • Food inflation, the devaluation of the dollar, and future economic problems.

You could also argue that COVID-19 cost Trump the election.

It’s a Fragile System

One important take away for preppers is that our modern society is a fragile one.  There are too many points of failure and little or no redundancy or padding.  Store shelves can be emptied in days and warehouses in weeks.  Jobs can disappear at the whim of a government official. 

This country is unprepared for a big disaster and no one is doing anything about it.  When the wheels stop rolling and everything grinds to a halt, you need to be prepared because the government will be looking after itself, not you.

Author: The Pickled Prepper

Pete the Pickled Prepper lives on an isolated homestead on the side of a mountain deep in in rural America. He has been preparing for the end of the world for more than 25 years.