Deltacron and the Forgotten Pandemic of 1918

“As bad as things were, the worst was yet to come, for germs would kill more people than bullets. By the time that last fever broke and the last quarantine sign came down, the world had lost 3-5% of its population.”

Charles River Editors, The 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic

Addison WigginDear Reader,

Doctors in Cyprus are claiming they’ve found a new strain of COVID with characteristics of both the Delta and Omicron variants.

They’ve dubbed the unholy chimera “Deltacron.”

Scientists around the world aren’t convinced, however. They say it’s more likely the Cyprus lab screwed up its samples somehow.

Knee-jerk reactions have been one of the most damaging hallmarks of the pandemic — with people making rash pronouncements long before all the facts are in. “Barbarians of specialization,” we’ve paraphrased Ortega y Gasset while describing these meddlers in the past.

You remember the Surgeon General chiding people for buying masks early in the pandemic… before the government demanded that everyone start wearing them. And we talked about the possibility of hysteria in the early days of the Delta outbreak.

Maybe the Cypriot researchers should have run a few more tests before declaring we have a new strain to worry about. Or maybe they really have found something new… and dismissing their claims outright is putting us in more danger.

Because the fact is, there is a chance Delta and Omicron could exchange some DNA — taking on characteristics of both.

But these mutations won’t necessarily be bad for us. They might even make the coronavirus more affable.

Let’s consider what happened to the Spanish flu.

The Spanish flu killed an estimated 500 million people between 1918 and 1920. Then it suddenly stopped ravaging the planet. Modern science couldn’t take credit for the victory — flu vaccines were still decades away. Lockdowns, mask mandates and social distancing didn’t do the trick, either.

Instead, the virus simply mutated into a less deadly form. Its progeny are still circling the globe today… infecting people just like its ancestors did during the Great War. Variants appeared in 1957, 1964 and most recently in 2009.

Apparently, that strain of the flu is of the avian persuasion and has persisted in recombination with new avian “bird” flus throughout the years.

In a lot of ways, you can honestly say the Spanish flu pandemic never ended. It became “endemic,” meaning we just have to live with it. The virus doesn’t want to kill you, I have it on good authority. Otherwise, it can’t replicate itself as easily.

It’s just as likely the coronavirus pandemic will never end, either. The virus will keep evolving new strains, and all the government mandates in the world won’t stop it. The current vaccines have proven inadequate at keeping up with its changes.

Our best hope is that science can keep developing treatments to keep outbreaks in check — meaning treatments you can take to stay out of the hospital, like say, the seasonal flu.

I finally triangulated the time-zone difference with Ray Blanco, who is in Mindanao, Philippines, and spoke with him this morning about the advent of the Omicron varient… how viruses seek to propagate their own DNA… what mRNA vaccines actually do to your cells… why you need a booster if you’re so inclined… what effect the policy response has had on the economy… why the tie-strapped Dr. Fauci is the highest paid civil servant in the land… and what investments Senor Blanco thinks actually make sense right now for individual investors like you.

Phew. This week will be fun.

Follow your bliss,

Addison Wiggin

Addison Wiggin
Founder, The Financial Reserve


Addison Wiggin

Addison Wiggin

Addison Wiggin is founder and executive publisher of Agora Financial LLC, an independent economic forecasting and financial research firm. He and Bill Bonner began writing the firm’s flagship Daily Reckoning in the midst of the tech boom and bust. It was one of the first widely distributed email newsletters on the Internet. The publication’s critical eye on finance and economics continues today. He’s also creator and editorial director of Agora Financial’s daily missive The 5 Min. Forecast.

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