Writers’ Blokke
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Writers’ Blokke

Haven’t the human race learned anything from the 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic

Picture by Matteo Jorjoson from Unsplash

Why haven’t we learned from our experience.

From 1918 to 1919, the world was devastated by an outbreak of the influenza virus. What started as a minor outbreak in Kansas, USA, spread to all corners of the world infecting approximately 500 million and killing 50 million. The spread was attributed to the vast movement of men during World War I. The infected men going to war quickly spread the disease to others fighting the war and those caring for them and their families.

There were a few unique features that puzzled doctors, even unto know. First was the high mortality among the 20–40 year age group, along with children below 5 years and elderly above 65 years. The second was the virulent properties that made it highly infectious and fatal. Though without pharmaceuticals or vaccines the pandemic came to an end with only 2/3 of the population remaining.

History reoccurring right before our eyes

In November 2019, there was an outbreak that started in China, that later spread to epic proportions. In March 2020, WHO declared this outbreak a pandemic. While that was more than 1 year ago the death toll is still climbing with an accumulated number of deaths well over 4 million. The spread of COVID-19 is attributed to the regular movement of persons.

Today, technology and knowledge are probably 100x more advanced than compared to 1918. So scientists and Healthcare works did their best to pharmaceutical and physically limit the spread. Unfortunately, this has pandemic is still with us. Are we looking at another incident like the Spanish Influenza Pandemic? Why can’t we get this pandemic under control yet?

Knowledge and technology increased but humans have learned nothing

Comparing these 2 global pandemics there are resounding similarities. But now we should be more equipped and knowledgeable to at the very least control the spread. It almost feels like the 1918 and other pandemics that came after was a dress rehearsal for this pandemic.

Why is it, that to save our lives and the lives of others have to be senselessly challenged?

Rebellion and challenges are coming from all angles, with all sorts of complaints and excuses about the simple measure installed to help. Wearing a mask outdoors is almost the same as wearing a mask in a hospital when you are sick. We wash our hands daily, why is it suddenly a problem. And privacy is always something everyone asks for, but 1 night of curfew from authorities is made with rioting and pure recklessness.

Mask and proper sanitation measures are not gaining traction in many countries.

It is unfortunate to know that with so much knowledge available many are unwilling to learn and adapt. Instead, claims of all sorts are thrown into the air to fight against it. If you look back at pictures in 1918 and 1919, many saw wearing masks and practicing hygienic behavior. Masks became somewhat of a fashion statement. So why can’t everyone follow the line and wear a mask? The truth is I don’t know to do I understand.

Social distancing and reducing large gatherings is another method used to lower transmission.

Today it seems virtually impossible for some persons to do self-socializing. It feels like persons are terrified of being alone that they are willing to risk a fatal infection than to stay at home. It is confusing to me, much less the children who look up to us.

There is are pharmaceuticals now, while do not cure, do help to control.

It should put your mind at ease that there are more avenues for help now compared to the 1918 pandemic? But yet many are reluctant and even rebellious towards these methods. Why? Again I don’t know nor do I understand. But have persons reasoned that by protecting themselves, they protect others?

Well, I’m not sure this has crossed their minds. I have heard repeatedly, persons saying they care but they will not follow guidelines because COVID-19 does not exist. Sigh, I heart broke, because that was the moment the 4 million-plus persons, my family, and friends have been reduced to “nothing”.

Do we love and care for each other? Only time will tell.

Every day my heart breaks because I don’t understand how we can be so educated and still be self-destructive. When more than 1 persons share the same space then indirectly they are responsible for each other. There are more than 6 billion people sharing earth and some of us still cannot grasp that the actions of 1 have consequences on each other, not just ourselves.

Wearing a mask, washing hands, and face, and social distancing is not measure that will harm you in any way. Every one of these measures was used before and will be used in the future, ALL TO SAVE YOUR LIVES.

It is time we change the course of history to help each other by reducing the spread of COVID-19.

Thank you for reading and stay safe.



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Carlisa Byrne

Carlisa Byrne


My name is Abika, I started writing like everyone did to earn money during the pandemic now I just enjoy it. Medicine is my specialty but except lots more.