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102 Years Before Fake News

Harvard expert compares 1918 flu, COVID-19 – Harvard Gazette

We can often see the future more clearly by carefully scrutinizing and seeking to understand the past. To understand what's next for the coronavirus, that means looking back more than a century, to the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 - the only event comparable to corona in living memory.

The similarities between the two viruses are stark: both are insidiously infectious, spreading very quickly; both have required considerable modification of social behaviors to mitigate spread; both met with inadequate government response.

The differences are ominous. The world is both more densely populated and more mobile now than then, portending a spread with far greater range and speed. And more ominous still are the things that haven't happened yet that might - the Spanish Flu mutated, reappearing in a cataclysmic second wave of far greater potency that killed, in the end, more than 50 million people; and historians noted, per the article above, that it drifted swiftly from public and institutional memory. Will that happen again?

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