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Blog Post 10/12- Kayla O’Connell

In the article “Spanish Flu”, we learned the origins and the history behind the deadly 1918 pandemic. The 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic infected 500 million people worldwide. The pandemic killed 20-50 million people worldwide. Citizens of the time were “ordered to wear masks, schools, theaters and businesses were shuttered and bodies piled up in makeshift morgues before the virus ended it’s deadly global march”. The first wave of the spanish flu was generally mild. Individuals who were infected experienced mild flu symptoms. However, the second wave appeared again within the same year. Individuals who were infected during this time usually died within hours or days of developing symptoms. All in all, around 3 percent of the world population died from this pandemic. Not only did the Spanish Flu wipe out entire families, but also took a heavy toll on society. The funeral parlors were overwhelmed, people had to dig their own graves for family members, the economy was negatively impacted, and there were not enough farmers to harvest crops. 

Different cities tried to stop the Spanish Flu by utilizing different tactics. New York City tried to slow the transmission of the flu by implementing shifts on the subways. Missouri closed schools and movie theaters as well as public gatherings. San Francisco residents were fined $5 if they were caught without wearing a mask. Whereas, Philadelphia claimed that the Spanish Flu was a “normal flu”. 

Fast forward to 2020 and we are once again facing a global pandemic. Sadly, we have yet to learn from our mistakes of 1918. We were too slow to respond to Covid due to the mismanagement of our government. Our lack of leadership led to misinformation regarding dangerous cures. In addition, our lack of trust made it harder for the right treatments to be spread. Covid continues to spread across the world and infect millions of people. At the rate at which we are progressing, I question if Covid will have a second wave like the Spanish Flu did. If we don’t act quickly and follow the rules recommended to us, our future as we know it could be extremely deadly. 


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  1. Olivia Cosco Olivia Cosco

    I feel like I have read many posts emphasizing the fact that we haven’t learned from our mistakes, and it is really shocking, which I completely agree with. One thing you bring up here that is a little different, and stood out to me, was the fact that a lack in leadership has an effect on recovering from this pandemic.
    In my journalism class, we read the front page Washington Post articles almost every day. Between Covid-19 and the election, we read a lot about criticisms people have on how Donald Trump handled the pandemic, and also their plans going forward, which are different. What I have connected between these readings, your point, and my journalism readings, is that leadership does play a roll when it comes to stopping or slowing a pandemic, and leaders need to learn from previous leaders who have been through the same thing.

  2. Isabela Keetley Isabela Keetley

    I find it crazy how we have yet to learn from our mistakes. A little over a hundred years after the Spanish Flu we are seeing the EXACT same course of action taken by our government and our communities. It terrifies me that we have not learned from our mistakes especially in relation to the government and its role to inform its citizens and look out for its people above all else.

  3. Olivia Cranshaw Olivia Cranshaw

    Although there is no way to predict the future, I personally feel like there is less of a chance of a second wave, even with the lack of leadership and misinformation, just because the majority of the population are following more science-based claims compared to more random ideas developed by doctors during other pandemics. I do find a lot of the same overlap/patterns to be disturbing, but I feel like the people of the US consider the advice of scientists slightly more than their politicians, which was not the same previously.

  4. Maggie Otradovec Maggie Otradovec

    You would think that one hundred years would be ample time to learn how to better fight pandemics. Apparently this isn’t the case. It is crazy to see all the similarities between the Spanish Flu of 1918 and COVID-19. It is sad that this crisis didn’t bring our country together, but rather separated it even more. I hope that eventually we as a society will learn to put aside differences in order to benefit the greater good.

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