The Spanish Flu and Covid-19

  • The Spanish Flu and Covid-19 (1)

    The Spanish-Flu and covid-19 share many similarities and differences. The Spanish-Flu occurred about a year after the start of World War I which had begun in April of 1917 and the Spanish-Flu in April of 1918 and the virus lasting until around 1920. During this time frame the virus spread quickly claiming the lives of many, especially those living in close proximity such as the soldiers fighting in the war.
  • The Spanish Flu and Covid-19 (2)

    While the government implemented mandates such as masks, isolation and the closure of schools and restaurants it still didn’t seem to be enough to stop the spread of the virus. However, events such as these were commonly seen in many local newspapers across the United States. However, a few months later in September of 1918 a second and even larger wave of the Spanish-Flu struck the United States. This time, emerging from a United States Army training camp near Boston.
  • The Spanish Flu and Covid-19 (3)

    Sadly, the second wave of the virus claimed many more lives than the first. Shortly following the start of the second wave a shortage of nurses began as they were being deployed to help those in the military. The Spanish-Flu went down in history as one of the worst Pandemics, until Covid-19 struck in early 2020. While Covid-19 began towards the end of 2019, it was not discovered in the United States until January of 2020. Soon following the World Health Center declared a global health emergency.
  • The Spanish Flu and Covid-19 (4)

    Following that, the United States government implemented travel restrictions, social distancing as well as limiting the number of people in a given area and this was only the beginning. Soon as cases of the virus began to emerge in all 50 states local governments implemented masks, moved schools completely online and closed restaurants for dining in.While many of the restrictions for Covid-19 were similar to those of the Spanish-Flu of 1918 there were some differences in the reactions of people.
  • The Spanish Flu and Covid-19 (5)

    In both scenarios there were cases of backlash, however during 1918 many were more willing to abide by the recommendations of the government. On the contrary, during 2020 the United States became divided over these same recommendations. Mayors of states were being threatened, riots occurred, and many just simply refused to participate in slowing down the spread of Covid-19.
  • The Spanish Flu and Covid-19 (6)

    However, there was a plato in not only cases of the virus but also in the number of deaths, until the weather began to get colder causing a second wave of the virus claiming many more lives, just as the Spanish-Flu did.
  • The Start of the Spanish Flu (1)

    The Start of the Spanish Flu (1)
    The Spanish-Flu struck the United States fast and hard, at an already difficult time for the United States. World War I began in 1914 and did not end until November of 1918 with the Spanish Flu beginning in early 1918 creating a devastating overlap. During the start of the Flu thousands of Soldiers were traveling in close quarters across the Atlantic as they were being deployed for the War.
  • The Start of the Spanish Flu (2)

    Soon the virus began to spread to the public claiming many lives and the United States knew something had to be done, starting with isolation in a private residence or a local hospital. Not even a month later did a shortage of nurses occur, and the hunt for volunteer nurses began.
  • Mandates During the Spanish Flu of 1918 (1)

    Mandates During the Spanish Flu of 1918 (1)
    As mentioned previously the Spanish-Flu presented a challenge as men were crammed together on ships and nurses were being relocated to military bases. But with these challenges the government tried to find solutions. These solutions included mask mandates, which in some parts of the country were left up to the local government, as well as closure of schools and restaurants.
  • Mandates During the Spanish-Flu of 1918 (2)

    While these tactics all were of help when it came to slowing the spread, the most effective method at the time was wearing masks. As seen in this picture a family from California is seen on the street urging those in their community to wear masks. Similarly many local governments enforced this mandate with a fine to those who are seen without a mask.
  • The Start of Covid-19 in The United States (1)

    The Start of Covid-19 in The United States (1)
    Much like the Spanish-Flu Covid-19 struck the United States along with much of the world quickly and claimed thousands of lives. During this time, not much was known about Covid-19 especially when it came to treatment, how infectious it was, how to test for it and how to thoroughly prevent it. Soon enough the United States created a task force and the individuals on the task force quickly tried to implement a plan, 14 days to slow the spread.
  • The Start of Covid-19 in The United States (2)

    This included the closure of schools, restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, essentially any public space except for necessities. Along with these closures came mask mandates and testing. As seen in this picture, nurses are dressed head to toe in PPE giving Covid-19 tests to those who present symptoms. During this time tests were not widely available, and many had to take an online screening before being able to receive a test, and even then, tests could take up to 14 days to receive the results.
  • Covid-19 and Government Mandates (1)

    Covid-19 and Government Mandates (1)
    Covid-19 was an unprecedented time with very little guidance on what should be done to help overwhelmed hospitals in conjunction with the citizens of the United States. As the World Health Organization as well as the Centers for Disease Control the United States altered what they suggested as well as what they were to mandate. In this instance, masks were a topic of discussion.
  • Covid-19 and Government Mandates (2)

    At the start of the virus, government officials urged Americans not to wear masks, as there was not even enough for healthcare workers at the time. As the virus progressed, masks became highly encouraged and soon mandated across the country.
  • Bibliography (1)

    Gunderman, Richard. “Ten Myths About the 1918 Flu Pandemic Smithsonian Institution, March 17, 2020.
    Raymond , coye. “Locust Avenue, Masks On.” Locust Avenue, masks on | California Revealed, March 11, 1918.
  • Bibliography (2)

    Rosenblatt , Lauren. “In Search of Masks and Some Changes, Businesses Adapt to New State Order.” Gazette, April 17, 2020.
    Taylor, Derrick Bryson. “A Timeline of the Coronavirus Pandemic.” The New York Times. The New York Times, February 13, 2020.