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Julia Borger Blog Post for 10/12

Similarly to my classmates, after the video and reading, I was taken aback by the comparisons to the Spanish Flu of 1918 and Covid-19 of 2020, in the viruses themselves as well as the world’s responses to them. I don’t remember learning very much about the Spanish Flu in past history classes, or maybe I did and just didn’t find it as interesting because I couldn’t relate to the concept until now. It is crazy to think about this fact, that reading about the Spanish flu at this time last year I could never imagine the whole country shutting down, social distancing, and wearing masks 24/7- yet that has become our reality today and now I don’t think twice about it.

I found many facts about the Spanish flu from the reading specifically fascinating, such as that it was named the Spanish flu because Spain was one of the only areas that covered the outbreak through media. This shows how influential media was at the time, which is another comparison to Covid, as the media is where we are learning most of our information, which is usually misinformation therefore causing more panic and harm than good. I found another concept peculiar- the fact that the Spanish flu did have a large effect on healthy young people such as soldiers, with more soldiers dying from the virus than in the war. This is interesting because Covid seems to be severely effecting a mostly older, more immune compromised population.

All in all, after learning more about the Spanish flu, I definitely feel extremely uneasy and anxious about the future of the Covid pandemic. It is clear that the United States has trouble learning from history and avoiding the potential to repeat past mistakes. I am not sure what 2021 is going to look like, but I just hope our country can pull it together and it looks better than this.

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4 Comments

  1. Isabela Keetley Isabela Keetley

    I also found it interesting that it was named the Spanish Flu because Spain was neutral during the war and therefore was able to produce news uncensored. The role of media was almost if not as important then (for the flu) as it is now for Coronavirus. Especially the spread of misinformation and censorship by countries as to not cause panic, which we saw very recently in March as well.

  2. Sara Moushegian Sara Moushegian

    The misinformation that the media gives to the population is a flaw that I don’t think we will ever avoid as we progress as a nation. It really is in the hands of the people to do their due diligence and research the validity of media before spreading information. Censoring media to not cause panic seems like a good decision but leaves the country misinformed. Transparency should always take precedent in situations like this.

  3. Kathrine Yeaw Kathrine Yeaw

    I was also surprised by how much I didn’t actually know about the Spanish Flu. I always think about how we are living through a major moment in history, which we are, but it has happened before, 100 years ago. When you mention how much the media had an effect back then, it makes me realize how many things are still so similar to live 100 years ago, even with so much change, the way we handled the pandemics were the same and the role the media has is still very much important.

  4. Olivia Cranshaw Olivia Cranshaw

    I thought it was really interesting you brought up the importance the media has in shaping public opinion and action, and therefore in shaping the trajectory of reactions to the pandemic. Although I did know the Spanish Flu was named as such because of Spain’s lack of involvement in WWI since they just finished their own civil war, I think it highlights how important media was then, and how even more important it is now in our interconnected world.

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