COVID-19, pandemic, Spanish Flu, pathogenicity


Medicine and Health Sciences


Dr. Carolyn Shapiro-Shapin


COVID-19, for many across the globe, has been a pandemic the likes of which has never been seen before. It has caused many aspects of life to change in order to adapt to the new limitations and cautions brought about by the global spread of a novel virus. However, almost exactly 100 years prior, a strain of the H1N1 influenza virus also known as the Spanish Flu of 1918, similarly uprooted life for millions of people around the globe. These two pandemics, while similarly leading to great disruption of global health, had many differences in the demographics impacted as well as their pathogenicity; the ability of the microbe to cause disruption and disease. The Spanish Flu also had wide reaching social implications and while the COVID-19 pandemic is still being analyzed, there is no doubt that the impact on healthcare and beyond will also be substantial. A lot can be learned from analyzing the last two global pandemics and in order to better understand and react to outbreaks like this, it is vital that all aspects of these two events are thoroughly examined.