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How Many Would it Take?

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posted on Mar, 2 2015 @ 06:32 PM
So, I had a dream (no this isn't a prophecy thread) the other night about a global pandemic. I left the tv on and The Walking Dead was on when I woke up so I assume that is what spurred the dream. Anyway, to my question. How many people or what percent of the population would have to become infected with a disease or die from it before order breaks down?

My thoughts are that at a certain point, I think around 5- 10 percent world population dead or dying, two major groups would form - Those who implicitly trust in their leaders and follow every piece of advice that comes to them through the news, and group two would be those that isolate themselves from society and wait to see what happens, not trusting everything they see on the news. I also think that at around 1.5 billion dead world wide, we would see breakdowns of first world governments. I am sure air travel, etc. would be suspended long before that number but I think 1 - 1.5 billion would be the breaking point. Thinking about that number, it is not huge in terms of population - it is a big number but I think it would take that many at most.

Another thought for me would be, Would it matter what countries the deaths were located in to cause a breakdown or would it be numbers alone that cause a panic? News and social media took off over less than one percent of a country catching a disease numerous times - think not just Ebola but SARS, Swine Flu, and other diseases that never amounted to much in the way of infections. I think that social media alone would push the number of deaths needed to cause panic to be much much lower than it would have taken in the 1980s.

Anyway, if this is the wrong place for this thread, please move it - I thought about putting it in Pandemics but it isn't really a conspiracy as just wanting people to give their opinions on the subject.

Thanks for your input on this grim topic, hope I didn't drag anyone's mood down.

TL;DR How many people do you think would have to die or be dying from a disease/virus before order is lost in most of the world and would it matter what countries those deaths were in?

posted on Mar, 2 2015 @ 06:36 PM
a reply to: Blinkydoo

It is a big stretch, simple hand washing will stop most outbreaks.

It would take a concerted effort to distribute infected people all over the country and a system which discourages people from consulting their doctors.

Wait a minute...
edit on 2-3-2015 by greencmp because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 2 2015 @ 06:53 PM
Basically, you need enough people sick and dying to overwhelm the apparatus of society.

You need more sick people than the medical structure can care for, you need more dead than can be buried, you need more sick than there are healthy, you need enough unknowns to create a panic that overwhelms social order.

posted on Mar, 2 2015 @ 06:58 PM
I agree, hand washing, general sanitation, etc has saved us from any modern day huge outbreaks, my thought was more along the lines of "what if" one of those antibiotic resistant strains was able to negate the advantages provided by our modern sanitation.

And yeah, maybe I should have thought before posting, probably on a list now somewhere...

posted on Mar, 2 2015 @ 07:24 PM
a reply to: Blinkydoo

The Stand (the book) painted some really great breakdowns in society during the first few million (it's a big book) pages. Groups like you speak of as well as every splinter you can think of, vying for their chance to take some reigns. Executing TV studio staff and filming propaganda, people setting up communes and cults, etc.

If that happened, it would be that classic scenario of society becoming more dangerous than the threat itself.

posted on Mar, 2 2015 @ 07:50 PM
a reply to: Blinkydoo

The Spanish flu infected about 25% of the worlds population. Then killed 3 to 5% of those. With no measurable breakdown.

The 1918 flu pandemic (January 1918 – December 1920) was an unusually deadly influenza pandemic, the first of the two pandemics involving H1N1 influenza virus.[1] It infected 500 million[2] people across the world, including remote Pacific islands and the Arctic, and killed 50 to 100 million of them—three to five percent of the world's population[3]—making it one of the deadliest natural disasters in human history.[2][4][5][6]

I'm lazy and the source was wiki look it up.

posted on Mar, 2 2015 @ 08:02 PM
a reply to: Blinkydoo

I think things would hold together fairly well until the transportation industry started to be heavily impacted. Once food stops moving into the urban center things will get ugly within a few days.

posted on Mar, 2 2015 @ 08:41 PM
a reply to: Greathouse

It's also possible that the Spanish flu was not reported on a worldwide scale, hence avoiding any kind of mass panic.
Also, the world was just coming out of a world war, with all the desensitization that may have caused.
The world was also not so city centric perhaps, with huge populations giving the vector necessary for large scale infection.

To the OP, I believe that once panic started, it would not take too long for it to spiral out of control. Remember the avian flu scare? Once numbers started to become noticable at a local level I believe that panic would rightly set in. It's not the same to hear of 20,000 dead in liberia as it is to hear about mr Johnson down the road dying.
Just my point of view.

posted on Mar, 2 2015 @ 09:34 PM
a reply to: Jonjonj

This is exactly why I asked, the last major epidemic I could think of was Spanish Flu but news would travel much slower in early 1900s. Today, with social media and the effect it seems to have on everyone - we have instant information that could be true or false but will be accepted without question as fact by a large number of people. Thats why I think it would take a much smaller percent of the population dying to splinter into groups and eventually break down.

I don't expect everyone to prove or disprove anything said, I am really just wondering what everyone thought and really appreciate the responses so far. I just fear the number could be much much lower than what the average person on the street would think. I live in a smaller town and we had a noticeable number of people wearing masks full time in public during the avian flu or maybe the swine flu news stories. I understand the argument that it would take more people than I currently believe, but I honestly don't have that much faith in people as a whole - once a large enough group goes into a panic, herd mentality (I guess that is what you would call it) would take over and it would just be a chain reaction. I agree with a previous poster that more than the two group types would form but I was just going for polar opposites - I am sure there would be profiteers as a large segment - selling the false cure like in the book World War Z - didnt see the movie, may be in there too.

I am pleased to see peoples opinions on the subject so don't be shy - what is your theory? I guess the major question becomes, How much faith do you have in your fellow man to keep cool and how far does that stretch - frankly, first few thousand deaths in the US in a very short amount of time and I go into super prepper mode, start adding to my already huge stores, but that is me and like the shirt I am wearing says, I am "Losing faith in humanity, one person at a time." I just don't have the same faith in human beings that some people do I guess.

Looking forward to more replies, everyone have a good night and I will respond to new posts tomorrow!

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