Coronavirus Still Discriminating—Reaches Italy, But Italians Also Vulnerable In 1918 Pandemic
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Well, it’s finally happened: An Italian, Adriano Trevisan, 78, a retired bricklayer, is the first acknowledged case of a white dying of Coronavirus [Italian passenger jet is 'held' after arriving in Mauritius as authorities 'demand all on board are quarantined or fly straight back' amid concerns over coronavirus which has killed SIX in the country... while UK insists 'threat to British public is low,' Daily Mail, February 23, 2020]. In all, a total of 12 deaths have been reported in Italy as of February 27th, (although it’s possible some were among the Chinese immigrants who now, amazingly, populate Italy’s fashion industry sweatshops) and panic is now world-wide [CDC 'took FOUR DAYS to test coronavirus patient with unknown origin' because she 'didn't fit infection criteria' - as dozens of staff at the California hospital are ordered to isolate and experts fear the disease could explode quickly like it did in Italy, Daily Mail, February 27, 2020]. But there are still ethnic as well as racial patterns that mean most people in the U.S., and Europe probably don’t have to worry

The media-induced hysteria has indeed accelerated into true Crazy Mode. Italian supermarkets’ shelves now so bereft that fights are breaking out of the final few packets of pappardelle [MAMA MIA: Coronavirus panic grips Italy as shoppers fight over packets of pasta as deadly bug spreads to the south, by Felix Allen, The Sun, February 25, 2020]. Major international sporting events, such as the Six Nations rugby match between Ireland and Italy, have been postponed [Coronavirus & sport: What now for Six Nations, Tokyo Olympics, F1, Euro 2020 & Cheltenham?, By Frank Keogh, BBC News, February 27, 2020]. Could the Eurovision Song Contest, to be held in the Netherlands on May 16th, be cancelled, just to be on the safe side?

Let’s try, unlike the virtue-signalling, cliché-fest that is Eurovision, to be rational just for a moment. As far as we know right now, you are only going to die of this virus if you have severe underlying health conditions and are elderly. And, even then, the fatality rate is 3.6% for those aged 60 to 69, 8% for those aged 70 to 79 and 14% for people who are over the age of 80  [Age, Sex, Existing Conditions of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths, Worldometer, February 23, 2020]. Thus another Italian fatality, unnamed, was a 77-year-old woman [South Korea Raises Threat Alert Level, New York Times, February 26, 2020].

The mortality rate among males is roughly double that among females [Age, Sex, Existing Conditions of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths, Worldometer, February 23, 2020]. Scientists hypothesize that males have weaker immune systems than females [Scientific basis for 'man flu,' by Lucy Bird, News Reviews Immunology, 2010]. This fits the argument made by F. Roger Devlin in his Sexual Utopia in Power: The male evolutionary strategy, in comparison to the female’s, involves living fast and dying young; quantity over quality; a billion sperm per ejaculation over one egg per month. Nothing to lose from the sexual encounter. As such, males do not need, to the same extent, to adapt to the environment and develop a good immune system.

You’re also vanishingly unlikely to develop complications from Corona if you are a child [Age, Sex, Existing Conditions of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths, Worldometer, February 23, 2020].

Corona, in other words, is not a Woke virus. It discriminates on the basis of sex, and age.

But let’s also try to be rational about another factor, which the online statistical summaries tend to ignore. I’ve already presented evidence that Corona discriminates on the basis of race [STILL No Non-East Asian Deaths From Corona—But CNN’s Sanjay Gupta Won’t Admit It]. And it may well also discriminate on the basis of ethnicity—subtler heredity patterns within races.

As Frank Salter documents in his book On Genetic Interests, ethnic groups within races, such as English, French or Italian, form distinct genetic clusters. The average Frenchman is more genetically similar to the next average Frenchman than either would be to the average Englishman, because they have a common ancestor more recently and are adapted to the very specific evolutionary niche of France.

It appears that this was indeed the case with the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918. According to one popular history, Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How It Changed the World, by Laura Spinney, there were very noticeable—and noticed—ethnic differences in mortality

“In fact, residents of Connecticut who were of Italian origin were more likely to die than those of Irish, English, Canadian, German, Russian, Austrian or Polish background,” writes Spinney. She goes on to insist that this was due to Italians being “poor” and having a poor diet.

But this doesn’t make any sense, because the Irish and Polish immigrants would also have been poor. In addition, a study in the journal PLOS ONE found that there are race differences in susceptibility to influenza even when you control for health and socioeconomic status [Role of genetic heterogeneity in determining the epidemiological severity of H1N1 influenza, by Narmada Sambaturu et al., PLOS ONE, 2018].   

And it wasn’t just in Connecticut that this was observed. According to historian Alfred Crosby, all immigrants were more likely to die of Spanish Flu (presumably due to immigrant poverty) but the mortality rate was far lower among English, Irish and German immigrants (that is: evolved to a cold, wet climate) than among those from Poland, Russia and Austria-Hungary.

Among Italian immigrants, however, Spanish Flu was particularly acute. Crosby writes:

The pandemic scythed through urban America’s Little Italies, and Italian-Americans had one of the very highest mortality rates in the entire country [America's Forgotten Pandemic: The Influenza of 1918, by Alfred Crosby, 2003, pp.227-228].

A 1921 investigation into Spanish Flu, in The American Journal of Hygiene, reported ethnic differences in mortality from the virus, commenting that, in comparison to other immigrants, the death rate was “enormously high among Italians” but “lower than would be expected among persons of Irish, English and German stock,” presumably based on the mortality rate that poverty would predict [Influenza: An Epidemiologic Study, by Warren Taylor Vaughan, American Journal of Hygiene, 1921].

Another academic article, published in 1919, noted that Irish Americans seemed to be 75% less likely to suffer from acute influenza than Italian-Americans [Society Proceedings, Journal of the American Medical Association, 1919, p. 1548].

So, if there are differences is disease susceptibility between “races” then we would expect the differences to exist, in a less pronounced form, between ethnic groups within races. This makes perfect sense. Influenza has long been a more pernicious problem in Northern Europe, where the cold and wet climate allows it to breed better. On this basis, we would expect Northern Europeans to have developed greater resistance to flu, meaning that their immune systems would be better able to cope with novel forms of influenza should they manifest. (Influenza also flourishes in hot and humid climates—and, indeed, blacks are showing exceptional resistence to Coronavirus).

The non-East Asian country other than Italy that has been severely impacted by Corona is Iran. Iranians are often classified as “White” but similarly they would be unlikely to be adapted to flu, given the region’s climate. And, indeed, Laura Spinney reports that in 1918, “Persians [= Iranians] fighting in the British army were more severely affected by the flu than native British soldiers.”

She quotes a doctor as speculating that the explanation might have been that Persians were more likely to have an “underlying disease” such as “malaria.” But, presumably, there were also different chronic conditions that British soldiers would have been more likely to have suffered from.

So, it seems fairly likely that Corona, like other forms of influenza, discriminates not just by age, sex and race, but also by ethnicity and, in the U.S. ethnic ancestry.

Race Realists are constantly accused of being evil. But it’s Race Denialism that is truly evil. The refusal of the world’s media, and health authorities, to be frank about the emerging racial and ethnic patterns shown by the Coronavirus means that tens if not hundreds of millions of people are being unnecessarily terrorized.

And millions more are not being warned that they should be exceptionally careful—with the result that some, perhaps many, will die.

Lance Welton [email him] is the pen name of a freelance journalist living in New York.

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