Resemblances between COVID-19 and the Spanish Flu of 1918

Resemblances between COVID-19 and the Spanish Flu of 1918

The ongoing pandemic has affected the whole world, not only economically, but also emotionally. Humanity finds itself on unknown territory, not know when everything is going to end and which will be the consequences. Some have lost their jobs, while others are struggling to survive alongside the medical system, which has collapsed in many areas of the world. This might seem the end of the world.

Yet, it is not the first time for humanity to face the unknown

Back in 1918, the Spanish Flu caused the same fear of the unknown, regardless of age, gender, nationality, or color. The outbreak of the deadly influenza pandemic was in February 1918 and lasted until April 1920. Approximately 500 million people have been infected with the virus, and the death toll was estimated at somewhere between 17 and 50 million. These numbers demonstrate that the Spanish Flu is the deadliest pandemic the humanity has faced.

How did they flatten the curve?

The first thing that authorities did was to launch a campaign against sneezing, to cough, or to spit in public ever since the announcement of the first case. What they did not foresee was the fact that only one week after the first case was announced, 100,000 appeared. A couple of days later, schools, theaters, churches, and public gatherings were forbidden entirely.

One century later, scientists started to analyze the devastating effects of this pandemic and how the measures taken managed to stop its spreading. According to the findings, the critical factor was social distancing, which may be the best alternative for us, during the ongoing pandemic.

COVID-19 vs. the Spanish influenza

Doug Keister, an author and photographer, and a fan of the Chico Cemetery has declared that if we do not take action as fast as possible, we could end up living the same story of 1918. It is said that in a town of around 100,000 inhabitants, between 500,000 and 750,000 people died from influenza.


Anna is an avid blogger with an educational background in medicine and mental health. She is a generalist with many other interests including nutrition, women's health, astronomy and photography. In her free time from work and writing, Anna enjoys nature walks, reading, and listening to jazz and classical music.

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