The 1918 Pandemic – FamilySearch December 9, 2020

I saw this on FamilySearch today – The 1918 Pandemic: Longer article, shortened it a bit to list some important points. Definitely worth a read.

December 9, 2020 by Alison Ensign

With everything that’s happened due to COVID-19, many people are looking to the 1918 pandemic for answers. As the last major worldwide pandemic, the 1918 pandemic offers some insight in an otherwise unprecedented time. 

What can we learn from the Spanish flu of 1918? Studying a historic pandemic can help us anticipate what we might be able expect from COVID-19. It can also help us see what worked last time the world was faced with something similar. 


1918 Flu Pandemic History

At the end of World War I, the world encountered a new threat: the Spanish flu. What was it that made the Spanish flu so severe? Where did it come from, and how did it start?

Where Did the Spanish Flu Start?

It might surprise you to learn that the Spanish flu didn’t actually start in Spain. In reality, it could have started in any number of countries. Scientists have traced it back to France, China, Great Britain, and the United States, but its exact origin is still unknown.

So why was it called the “Spanish flu”? The answer goes back to politics. Many world powers at the time were involved in World War I, and leaders didn’t want news of the flu to demoralize troops. Spain, on the other hand, managed to remain a neutral force and freely reported news of the influenza.

To the world, it looked like Spain was the epicenter of the pandemic. Spain instead believed that it originated in France and dubbed it the “French flu.”


About Wichita Genealogist

Originally from Gulfport, Mississippi. Live in Wichita, Kansas now. I suffer Bipolar I, ultra-ultra rapid cycling, mixed episodes. Blog on a variety of topics - genealogy, DNA, mental health, among others. Let's
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