So far 2020 has been a year of “uncertainty” to say the least. With the Coronavirus or COVID-19, we have seen the near collapse of economies, and many heartaches as people suffer from the illness and all it brings with it. It is in these difficult times we try to look towards a brighter healthier future. But perhaps, in addition to looking to the future, we should also shift our gaze to the past…
COVID-19 may be a terrible pandemic but it is not the first one we’ve faced in the world. We can draw from experiences of the past and see how best to react to the current public health crisis.
The Smithsonian wrote a great informative article about the 19th-century epidemics. In the article, they show the moving story of how a city that was full of garbage and disease later took actions to become clean and safe. The city looked at the problems it faced, found the root cause, and took steps to eliminate any factors. To learn or read more click here. Although we may not know everything about COVID-19 yet, it is best to stay informed!
Almost exactly 102 years ago, in 1918 the so-called “Spanish Flu” struck San Diego, CA. Unlike with the current situation, during the 1918 Flu, saloons stayed open and the illness spread. Within a few months the city realized that in order to slow the progression of the illness, schools, theaters, and churches were closed down. Soon masks became mandatory and social distancing enforced, the death toll decreased.
It took one whole year, but in 1919, when the death toll fell from 101 to 48, the city returned to normal. We can see patterns like this all throughout history with the “Asian Flu” in 1957-1958… The “Hong Kong flu” in 1968… The “H1N1” from 2009-2010… And so on.
Although each illness brought much sadness and destruction, we can take hope in the fact that after each one, as a world, we healed.
To read more about San Diego’s history with pandemics click here.
This is an opinion piece: any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the author and do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in professional or personal capacity, unless explicitly stated. Any views or opinions are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company or individual. Information provided in the blog should not be taken as medical advice.