Comparing the death counts between the 1918 Flu and Covid-19 without adjusting for population growth is extremely misleading. In 1918 the population of the United States was roughly 103 million, while near the end of 2020 it stood at roughly 330 million. According to CDC statistics compiled by a study in JAMA Covid-19 killed 345,000 people in 2020 and now stands at around half a million as stated by the New York Times. Adjusted for the population growth of over 200 million people and holding the death rates constant, the 1918 Flu would have killed over 2 million people if it occured today, which is more than four times greater than Covid-19.
Furthermore, the two diseases are vastly different in terms of who is vulnerable. Covid-19’s severe outcomes almost exclusively affect the elderly and the immunocompromised, particularly those over the age of 65, which is also approaching the life expectancy of a human. Furthermore 94 percent of Covid deaths occurred with preexisting conditions. It poses virtually no risk to children, minimal risk to young adults, and only seems to kill more than 1 percent of victims with those over the age of 65.
Investigative Issues: NYT COVID-Spanish Flu Comparison Raises Questions