Another thing to keep in mind is the availability of effective options. The flu virus changes in ways that require us to update our vaccines practically every year. That makes a complete cure for the flu virtually impossible. The ways we could improve would be better immunization methods, better tracking of the spread of the flu, and adapting more quickly to new strains.
If I'm in a boxing match, and my opponent collapses, I win
It's quite unsettling that you take the relationship of hundreds of millions of people, with significant effects probably touching close to a billion, and try to boil it down to a sporting event.
Or is your assertion that the USSR, had it won the cold war, would've eventually collapsed on its own, then later on changed its mind and re-invaded and acquired its lost territories?
I'm not claiming to know what exactly would have happened with the USSR and it's people in a number of different scenarios, but I do think I can say that positive effects of our cold war actions would be dumb luck the overwhelming majority of the time. Worse yet, the era created an excess of world ending firepower and filled a generation or so with a dangerous breed of paranoia that is willing to give up their rights for nothing in the name of fear.