When pandemic sanity reigned. From Jeffrey A. Tucker at brownstone.org:
t was a very bad year for the flu. The pathogen came in two large waves. This is only obvious in retrospect. At the time, not so much. Life went on as normal. There were gatherings. There were parties. There was travel. There were no masks. Doctors treated the sick. Traditional public health reigned as it had during the flu pandemic ten years earlier. No one considered lockdowns.
It’s a good thing because it was in the thick of this that many “super-spreader” events took place, among which was Woodstock itself. That event influenced all popular music after, and continues to do so today. No one was denied schooling or worship or separated from loved ones while they were dying. Weddings took place as normal. Indeed, hardly anyone remembers any of this.
This flu strain (H3N2) spread from Hong Kong to the United States according to the predictable timetable, arriving December 1968 and peaking a year later. It ultimately killed 100,000 people in the US, mostly over the age of 65, and one million worldwide.
Lifespan in the US in those days was 70 whereas it is 78 today. Population was 200 million as compared with 328 million today. If it would be possible to extrapolate the death data based on population and demographics, we might be looking at a quarter million deaths today from this virus. (As for precisely how many died from Covid, we are not really in a position to know yet due to confusion between cases and inflection, forced mass testing, inaccurate testing, and widely admitted cause-of-death misclassification.)