Even if the situation in Ukraine, including the actual on-the-ground state of the fighting, wasn’t fluid enough to warrant pausing with the commentary and analysis until more clarity emerges, the approach of a global CCP Virus milestone should command major attention, and it involves the number six million.
As known by anyone familiar with contemporary history, it’s one of the few numbers powerful enough to stand alone, without elaboration – something like “nine-eleven.” For others, it’s the number that’s enough to summon up all the horrors of the Holocaust, representing the number of European Jews widely thought to have been killed by the Nazis.
That’s why it’s important to point out that it already may describe the number of people killed worldwide by the virus – and that according to the reliable Washington Post and Worldometers.info pandemic trackers, if the victim count actually hasn’t hit this level yet, it’s certain to by tomorrow. Or the next day. (Nearly one million of these victims have been Americans.)
In many, and even most ways, of course, the Holocaust’s impact remains in a class by itself. The six million killed during the Holocaust accounted for an estimated 63 percent of the Jews living in Europe before 1933 – when Adolph Hitler became Germany’s Chancellor (via election, indirectly).
Moreover, with the continent’s surviving Jewish population literally in tatters in 1945, never to achieve critical mass again, it’s fair to say that an entire civilization or culture, developed over centuries, was wiped out. The effect on the pre-1933 global Jewry was extraordinary, too: Holocaust victims represented nearly 43 percent of that pre-1933 population. (The data in this and the preceding paragaph come from here.)
The raw numbers tell a different story about CCP Virus victims. That six million represents less than 0.08 percent of the entire world population (based on this current estimate of nearly 7.9 billion). And because of all the difficulties, legitimate and not so legitimate, in distinguishing deaths caused by the virus and deaths related to the virus, the six million figure probably shouldn’t be taken too literally.
But the raw numbers can never express the full extent of a genocide or an atrocity or a tragedy of any kind. So the ability of a pathogen to be as great a killer in this age of miraculous medical technology as the fanatically obsessed ruler of a major power equipped with that era’s state-of-the-art technology – and all within two years – should be enough to give anyone pause (even if the Spanish flu of a century ago was far deadlier).
And at least as bad as the death toll, at least in my view, is that efforts to affix responsibility for the pandemic – which almost certainly began in China, whether you believe in the natural origin theory or the variants of the lab leak theory – seem to have ended with a whimper. Unless you’ve heard anything significant lately about either a Biden administration or World Health Organization investigation?
Once the Nazi Holocaust was revealed, the world in general vowed “Never again” and brought the perpetrators to justice. Now its quantitative equivalent has happened again, and accountability – or even simple explanation of the origin – of any kind seems as remote a prospect as ever.