Death in Venice and the History of Underreporting a Pandemic



Good Afternoon Charles,
I recall "A Death in Venice" from HS Literature class. I was too young 16(?) to really understand it. But, am very familiar with the story.

First of all, there is one remarkable difference. Cholera vs. COVID-19, the former had happened before and the latter is "novel" or new. Cholera was caught because of bad water and people died of dehydration (diarrhea big time) but it was treatable. The solution, just get people hydrated with clean water to prevent them from drinking tainted water. COVID-19 is new. People largely "live" or last through it until they recover from the flu-like symptoms. While there is no vaccine it's not necessarily lethal.

As for "underreporting", I'm quite dubious that that is happening. My understanding is the states are actually reporting it. I don't see any cover-up of the numbers by the President or any Governors and they are all front and center and not hiding. The low number of 100,000 of deaths is a statistical model estimate only. Clearly, we hope that will NOT come to fruition.

There are many differences between a work of fiction 100+ years ago and the reality of COVID-19 today. A much better reference point would be the Spanish (is that politically correct?:) Flu epidemic of 1918-1920. There is now far and away better data accounting and better distribution of it and COVID-19 for that matter today.


A good, thoughtful piece, Charles. And wonderful of you to compellingly link literature to headlines. Very convincing and astutely done. One issue: I'm not buying the obsessional blaming of "capitalism." There are innumerable instances of lying, fudged data, harassment of whistleblowers, threats to careers of honest scientists and researchers--in socialist societies, as well. Human egotism, delusion, power-hunger, greed, insecurity, approval-seeking: these traits occur everywhere. Trump is rotten: agreed. I'm not sold, though, on Xi, Maduro, Kim, or their apologists, nor do I subscribe to some ideal "real" socialism that we haven't yet actualized but that you and various allies "know" will be good for us. Meanwhile: a finely wrought, compelling piece. Thanks.


The impossibility of accurate reporting because of lack of testing equipment, personnel, etc, is de facto underreporting.


Yes Charles, Trump proved once again what sort of man he is, and those who collude with him do the same. Same with Boris. Look for who is behind these clowns, and who had fed lies for years and years to the masses, so these idiot fools of men are now in great positions of power. Rupert Murdoch. Bout time his name was linked to all these tragedies, alongside Trump’s.


Stay at home. Wash your hands. If not working remotely, think about sewing cloth (cotton) masks which you wash in high temp with your clothes when you get home.

Oh, and the WH knew when the 5 eye flash went out - that was 5+ months ago. Analysis was presented by 4+ months ago. They don't care about you.