Locust plague in Africa is much worse than coronavirus

Locust plague in Africa is much worse than coronavirus, by an anonymous contributor.

I can’t find the quote at the moment, but there once was a newspaper editor of, I think the New York Times, who roughly said that for his paper’s news reporting:
one death in New York is worth
… ten deaths in Europe
… or 100 deaths in Asia
… or 1,000 deaths in Africa.

Bear that in mind and it will be less of a surprise to read that there is a locust plague in Africa at the moment which is “the worst in seven decades” and “could get “500 times worse” according to the UN. It’s gone unreported on Australian mainstream news services.

Here’s why it’s on track to be a really big deal:

  • A pestilence in northwestern China in 311 AD that killed 98% of the population locally was due to locusts. There are many more examples like that.
  • Throughout written history, locusts have generally been acknowledged as the biggest insect pest for humans.
  • In one day, they can eat their own body weight, travel over 90 miles, and increase their population ten-fold within a few days. A swarm can consume enough food for tens of millions of people. They will eat other locusts when normal food supplies run low. They are almost unstoppable once swarming and very hard to find when going to ground to lay eggs.
  • Swarms have devastated crops and been a contributory cause of famines and human migrations.

In 2020, great locust swarms still can’t be contained. Last week, the U.N. announced that desert locusts — the most devastating type — descended upon East Africa.

There are a lot of hungry Africans and their numbers are increasing relatively rapidly. In the last century, the population has grown around ten-fold. By the end of this century, it will be a more important area of the world than all of Asia in terms of population. In fact, by 2100, Africans are projected to make up 40 % of the world’s population.

More on locusts in general: