Currently, the entire world is busy formulating an exit strategy to remove the active lockdowns. In India, some liquor shops were recently opened to help improve the country’s economy somehow. All of these activities have, however, led to a single question. People think such activities increase the risk of human transmission. People think that the hot summer may help contain the spread of the virus, but none of the signs show any improvement. The SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes Coronavirus has no known vaccine or cure to date.
Many of the new trials are producing positive initial results, but none of them last long. This is a big point of concern. At such a time, people are drawing conclusions based on the Influenza pandemic of 1918. The Spanish Flu pandemic had a pretty similar effect worldwide, almost a century ago. People need to learn important things from it, even if further waves of infection are a possibility.
— World Economic Forum (@wef) May 3, 2020
A tale of 2 pandemics: Coronavirus 2020 and Spanish Flu 1918
Recent research shows a lot of similarities between the events of both the pandemics. The Spanish Flu originated somewhere in Europe around the end of World War 1. Just like the Coronavirus, it was also a respiratory tract disease. The pattern of spreading is the same for both diseases. The Spanish flu too spread by human transmission like the COVID-19. The infection lasted for almost 2 years before vanishing. The disease infected a total of 500 million people worldwide. At the time this was 1/3rd of the global population.
The Spanish Flu is till now the deadliest pandemic of all time. The disease killed anywhere between 20 million to 100 million people worldwide. In India, the disease killed more than 12 million people. To help avoid mass panic, countries like the US, UK, France, and Germany, misinformed about the infection and death statistics through war censorship. Just like the COVID-19, Spanish flu was also more predominant in the summer, as opposed to normal influenza diseases which affect around winter.
The doctors globally suggested only one thing back in the day. “If you feel sick, make sure you lie on the bed and call a doctor to check on you!” This should be followed today also if we are to get rid of Coronavirus. Just like the Spanish Flu, COVID-19 may not get a vaccine. Even if it does it won’t be anytime soon. People need to take care of each other in such difficult times.
Everybody needs to keep their hopes high, and we will get through this together.
Suryapratim Ray is an engineer, author, robotics hobbyist, and an active Quoran. Being a technical blogger, he covers the good, bad, and ugly of science on a regular basis at Sciencenews18. In addition to his passion for writing, he’s equally keen on learning classical music.