From The conversation: 5 ways the world is better off dealing with a pandemic now than in 1918
Near the end of the First World War, a deadly flu raced across the globe. The influenza pandemic became the most severe pandemic in recent history, infecting about one-third of the world’s population between 1918 and 1920 and killing between 50 and 100 million people. It was caused by an H1N1 virus that originated in birds and mutated to infect humans.
Now a century later the world is amidst another global pandemic caused by a zoonotic disease that “jumped” from wildlife to people, a novel coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2. While we do not want in any way to diminish the hundreds of thousands of personal tragedies caused by this virus, we see reasons to be optimistic. If managed competently, this fight may turn out differently, resulting in lower rates of infection and mortality and, possibly, fewer deaths.