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COVID-19 Vs Past Pandemics - Caution When Comparing

by Zach Govia August 04, 2020

COVID-19 Vs Past Pandemics - Caution When Comparing

COVID-19 has been directly compared to many past pandemics. At first it was SARS, but the current numbers and events occurring are more comparable to the situation of the Spanish flu of 1918. One event that can be directly compared, is the resistance to the wearing of masks. As the saying goes, "history repeats itself". Below, we will give you some history on the face mask and compare the Spanish flu and COVID-19 pandemics.

Spanish Flu Vs COVID-19:

When discussing the two pandemics, it is important that you do this with caution. The past is not a prediction of the future and there is still much unknown about the future of COVID-19. While the Spanish Flu is an influenza and COVID-19 is a coronavirus, comparisons have been made because of the echoing respiratory failure sufferers have faced.

Many policies from the Spanish Flu have guided actions during COVID-19, like the use of masks, mass closures and physical distancing. Because of the similarity, many people are concerned about a second wave of COVID-19 happening the way it happened with the Spanish Flu. This is good as it may create further precautions, but we all most realize that COVID-19 is its own pandemic and should not be predicted.

History Of The Face Mask:

There is a very common fallacy that face masks are a "new" addition to help combat harmful bacteria and viruses. When in fact, the is the furtherest from the truth. Face masks were used during the Spanish Flu, other outbreaks, and for everyday life in various countries. One comparison between the two pandemics is that, the mandatory wearing of masks has always come with protests and defiance. In the US it has always become a cultural and political issue, very much like today's pandemic. 

Overall, the thing that has not changed, is that masks will help prevent the spreading of harmful bacteria and viruses. The spread of misinformation is a dangerous tool during a pandemic, as shown throughout history.

You can see experiments and evidence here.

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Zach Govia
Zach Govia

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