The novel coronavirus pandemic, known as Covid-19, could not have been more predictable. Beginning in December 2019, in the region of Wuhan, China, a new (“novel”) coronavirus began appearing in human beings. It has been named Covid-19, a shortened form of “coronavirus disease of 2019.” This new virus spreads incredibly quickly between people, due to its newness – no one on earth has immunity to Covid-19, because no one had Covid-19 until 2019. While it was initially seen to be an epidemic in China, the virus spread worldwide within months. The WHO declared Covid-19 a pandemic in March, and by the end of that month, the world saw more than a half-million people infected and nearly 30,000 deaths.

The infection rate in the US, India, and other nations was still spiking.

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With the Deaths crossing more than 32L, can COVID be the biggest/worst pandemic in Global History?

  • 1
    I don't think that there's an established metric for ranking pandemics. You cite the number of deaths, but given that you're interested in historical comparisons, the relative number of deaths may be more important. But you could also rank by the proportion of the global population that was infected. Or to take a very different perspective, you could try to assess the economic damage of a pandemic. Without a clear definition of what makes a particular pandemic the worst, this question is unanswerable by the standards of skeptics.SE as it is very much opinion-based. That's why I vote to close.
    – Schmuddi
    May 7, 2021 at 7:45
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    A second reason why this isn't an appropriate question for this site: Has anybody ever claimed that Covid-19 is "the biggest/worst pandemic in Global History"? The purpose of this cite is to critically assess notable claims that are believed by a non-negligible number of people to be true. The rules of this site require that the notability of questions needs to be established in the question by citing from sources that make this claim. But as it is, no such source is given.
    – Schmuddi
    May 7, 2021 at 7:50
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    As well as the problems listed by Schmuddi above, I've downvoted because this shows absolutely no research effort. Simply typing "worst pandemic in history" into a search engine will return hundreds of articles on the subject.
    – F1Krazy
    May 7, 2021 at 9:20
  • 2
    The Black Plague lasted several years and killed anywhere from a quarter to a third of the entire population of Europe at the time.
    – Shadur
    May 7, 2021 at 9:58

1 Answer 1



It barely enters the top ten. In particular the Spanish flu of 1918-1920 cost 17-100 Million lives globally, equating 1% to 5% of the world population.

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