Human News

The 1918-19 flu pandemic killed 40-100 million people, a large proportion of whom were young adults. The chance of a similar pandemic in the next few years due to a variant of the current strain of H5N1 bird flu is unknown, but if we guess 20%, then the expected value is about 14 million deaths. With an average remaining life expectancy of roughly 40 years, that's about 560 million life-years. In addition, close relatives of the victims would be affected to an extent equivalent to, let's say, 1 year of their lives, or around 60 million life-years.

Human News aims to devote 1 character to each 40,000 life-years, or 1000 average lives. Thus, this story can have (620 million) / 40,000 = about 15,000 characters. However, 12,700 characters of previous articles discussed pandemic flu. Thus, there is space for 15,000-12,700=2300 characters in articles on pandemic flu. This article has 600 characters + 300 for the photo, thus there is space for 2300-900=1400 characters in future articles on pandemic flu.

Comparing the space devoted to articles in Human News and on the front page of the standard newspaper, this article occupies 45% of Human News and 33% of the standard newspaper.

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