Parallels Between the 1918 and COVID-19 Pandemics Are Nothing to Sneeze At
Kenneth C. Davis joins host T. J. O’Hara on Deconstructed to talk about his book, More Deadly Than War: The Hidden History of the Spanish Flu and the First World War. Mr. Davis is a renowned author and historian whose books are well-researched and extremely informative. His book does a deep dive into the 1918 influenza pandemic that killed more people than World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War combined at a time when the world was already in turmoil.
Mr. Davis provides insights into how incredibly deadly the “Spanish Flu” was… and how it had nothing to do with Spain. He explains the limitations of science at the time and the global issues that exacerbated the spread of the virus. If you think COVID-19 is a challenge, consider trying to address it in the middle of a world war without even a basic understanding of what a virus actually is.
T. J. and Mr. Davis talk about the remarkable parallels between the last pandemic to sweep through the United States and the current one. Many of the same preventive measures still apply. Mr. Davis discusses the advantages we have today with respect to the available science, the number of doctors, nurses, and hospitals we now enjoy, and the superior communication capabilities we have to enlighten the public. Correspondingly, he exposes the fact that we have also made many of the same mistakes.
One of the more crippling similarities is the exposure of both viruses to political manipulation. Propaganda entered into the equation in 1918 to keep the money flowing to support the war effort. While we are thankfully not experiencing a global war at this time, we did experience the current pandemic during a presidential election cycle. Listen to the interview and form your own conclusions about how COVID-19 may have been exploited for political purposes.