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The 1918 pandemic and the 2020 pandemic: lessons from the second wave

If someone continues to ignore for a century, we may face a similar fate. Scientific progress and hindsight have taught us how to end epidemics.

From the spring of 1918 to the winter of 1919, the 1918 pandemic broke out in three waves, which eventually caused 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide. The first wave of the spring of 1918 was relatively mild. Most of the 1918 flu deaths occurred in the autumn of 1918, which was the second and most serious of the 1918 flu.

Health experts predict that Covid-19 virus infections will increase this winter because the virus that causes Covid-19 is a type of coronavirus, while other coronaviruses spread more in winter. In cold and humid air, virus-carrying particles can stay in the air longer. In addition, our nasal membranes are drier and are more susceptible to infection in winter. As the weather gets colder, we will spend more time indoors without adequate ventilation, which means that the possibility of the virus spreading is higher.

Emergency doctor and “Influenza: A Hundred Year Hunt for the Deadliest Disease in History.”
; “Today, there are approximately 3 million people in the United States. The good news is that we have not seen these numbers yet-of course, these numbers are indeed shocking.

Brown said: “But, of course, the story we are talking about is not over yet.”

Why is the second wave so deadly

There are many reasons why the second wave of 1918 was so terrifying, including possible mutations and viruses. Human movement and behavior at the time. Winter means that the flu also spreads more and people are more often indoors.

“Pandemic: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History,” said John M. Barry: “My guess is that infecting people in the spring is not very good, and certain adaptation measures must be taken.” “Then took over. A mutation that is very good at infecting people and is more toxic.”

Among flu patients in 1918, pneumonia often progressed rapidly the next day and killed people. The efforts of the First World War have been taken over, so the movement of troops and crowded barracks facilitated the rampant proliferation.

The same is true where military personnel travel, and so does the virus-causing influenza and pneumonia to make 20-40% of US Army and Navy personnel sick in the fall, interfering with induction, training, and efficacy. A 2010 study reported: “In wars, influenza and pneumonia killed more American soldiers and sailors than enemy weapons.”
The 19th Army marched through the streets of Seattle in December 1918 wearing masks made by the Seattle branch of the Seattle Red Cross.
Six days after the first case of influenza was reported in Devens Camp, Massachusetts, the number of cases increased to 6,674. Gina Kolata, a science and medical reporter for the New York Times, in her book “Influenza: The Story of the 1918 Pandemic Influenza” and looking for the virus that caused it. ”

Corrata wrote: “Vaughan was here in the first war with modern weapons. This war is shooting down young people with machine guns and gasoline battles, but compared to this disease, there is nothing. ”

A huge obstacle is A kind Lack of understanding of the characteristics, behavior and severity of the virus. This pandemic happened before people realized the appearance of the virus and how to isolate and learn from it. The second wave of revenge made some people and doctors think that the disease they faced was different from the disease that plagued them that spring.

The announcement of an armistice on November 11, 1918 was an opportunity for a grand celebration in Philadelphia. Thousands of attendees contracted the flu.
The death toll from the flu peaked in November 1918, which may be the deadliest month of the pandemic. The Philadelphia parade on November 11th Armistice Memorial Day sent thousands of attendees colds.

social influence

The flu of 1918 swept the whole society. Contrary to the current pandemic, about half of the deaths are among young people aged 20 to 40, and the elderly are more likely to suffer serious illness and death from Covid-19.

Many events, schools and public places were cancelled and closed. “‘The ghosts of fear are everywhere, there are family reunions everywhere, because the other members have no choice but to stay at home.”

On October 16, 1918, female clerks in New York wore masks on their faces.
The authorities have implemented a law to wear masks and prevent vomiting. City officials implemented punitive measures, including fines for violators. Despite Europe’s demand for them, the U.S. Field Marshal General cancelled the call for 142,000 soldiers in October.
The loss to adults means that many children have lost one or two parents. The world has lost generations of young people, and the pandemic and World War I made them the main experience in their lives.

Modern advantage

Now, let’s fast forward to 2020. A number of scientific advancements have given us a slight advantage in reducing the spread and impact of respiratory diseases such as influenza and Covid-19. Advances in technology allow researchers to observe cells and viruses through electron microscopy and X-ray crystallography, which can also capture millions of images. Now, microbiologists can isolate, identify and describe the structure of the virus.

Although we have tested the coronavirus, one of the shortcomings is that “we don’t have enough testing capabilities and the testing time is too long,” Kolata said. “When you start to have symptoms similar to the coronavirus, the symptoms can mimic the symptoms of flu-high fever, chills. If the flu season really comes, you can very easily overwhelm the test system.”

A large number of coronavirus tests can be used but not used
Fortunately, we did not participate in the global war. Later insights and years of scientific progress tell us that the spread of respiratory droplets due to close contact and insufficient hygiene can infect diseases. However, to be effective, these scientific and medical advantages require public compliance.

what can we do

Although the number of Covid-19 cases is increasing and may surge this winter, we can take some measures to stop this spread. Precautions such as physical distancing, avoiding gatherings and avoiding unnecessary travel, washing hands and wearing masks are still important.
Store groceries, medical and emergency items in a responsible manner Being considerate of others-can help limit travel to the store, thereby reducing the chance of spread.
In 1918, there were no approved and regulated vaccines. This time with the coronavirus, Operation Warp Speed ​​and other programs are testing vaccines so that they can be vaccinated to the public before the spring of 2021.
The most valuable thing is to pay attention to the updates and guidance of local public health authorities, as well as the scientific knowledge of researchers and organizations (such as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization).

Corrata said: “If all social distancing and masks are effective against the coronavirus, if you are lucky, they may be effective against the flu.” “I hope people get the flu vaccine-not that they are 100% effective, but they are definitely better than Nothing good.”

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