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Thursday, October 8, 2020

Lesson learned from the 1918 pandemic

 

    I have been re-reading "The Great Influenza: The Story of the Greatest Pandemic in History."  The book was written in 2017 and little did the author know the relevance to our situation 3 years hence.  The parallels to our present pandemic are unnerving.  The mistakes made on not social distancing and our leaders discounting the seriousness of the virus have existed in both pandemics.  The book lists this as the biggest takeaway from the 1918 pandemic:

     "In 1918 the lies of officials and of the press never allowed the terror to condense into the concrete.  The public could trust nothing and so they knew nothing.  Society is, ultimately, based on trust; as trust broke down, people became alienated not only from those in authority but from each other.  Those in authority must retain public trust.  The way to do that is to distort nothing, to put the best face on nothing, to try to manipulate no one."

    The Trump administration's misinformation and outright lies show that the lessons of 1918 were not learned by the spin put out by our present administration.

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