At this point in the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 32 million infected and more than 980,000 dead worldwide, describing this time as “unprecedented” may sound like nails on a chalkboard.
This pandemic, however, actually isn’t without precedent: The last time we dealt with a pandemic so mysterious, uncontained and far-reaching was in 1918, when influenza devastated populations around the globe.
The 1918 flu killed 50 million to 100 million people through 1919. There are eerie parallels between the 1918 flu and the 2020 coronavirus pandemic: a disease with a startling range of symptoms for which there is little treatment, human behavior as a hindrance to public health and cluster outbreaks that have become widespread, to name a few.
For 102 years, influenza scholars and infectious disease experts have attempted to educate the masses in hopes of preventing future pandemics. And yet, here we are.
To be clear, the coronavirus at fault for the current pandemic isn’t a flu virus. And yet the 1918 and 2020 pandemics share similarities in terms of their basis on a novel, formidable virus that took the world and every aspect of society by storm. To learn the lessons of the 1918 flu, the missteps we’ve taken since and our post-pandemic future, CNN spoke with three experts on the subject.
Read more: CNN