To the editor:

Looking at some numbers may help put the 1918 and 2020 pandemics into perspective.

The 1918 pandemic claimed 675,000 American lives. That death toll represented 0.655% of the country’s then-total population of 103 million.

America’s population has tripled since then. If applied to today’s population of 330 million, the 1918 mortality percentage would represent 2,161,500 deaths!

Nationwide, the COVID-19 deaths presently stand at 126,000. That number would have to increase more than 17 times to match the 1918 mortality rate.

Comparing the 1918 and 2020 pandemics shows just how catastrophic the 1918 pandemic was.

Peter Kushkowski

Portland, Conn.

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