#TBT: The deadliest pandemic in modern history

Cities across the U.S. closed schools, churches, and theaters to stop this deadly virus from spreading... And no, it wasn't coronavirus.

It was the deadliest pandemic in modern history

A virus that spread around the globe infecting tens of millions of people and overwhelming medical services on multiple continents. Patients developed fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. Cities across the U.S. closed their schools, churches, theaters, and bars to slow the spread, and masks were recommended. It was the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 that killed 50 million people worldwide.

The last major pandemic

“The Spanish flu was the last major pandemic that we saw aggressively test health systems around the globe.”, Alexandre White, a professor of medical history, tells Brut. Despite its name, the first identified cases were in the U.S. in the last year of WWI before soldiers spread it to Europe. Though the pandemic didn't originate in Spain, and Spain wasn't as badly hit as other countries, it was the first country to widely report on it, thus giving the disease its nickname.

The Spanish flu and coronavirus?

The disease created a global scare similar to coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, today. But the two pandemics are very different. Modern tools for understanding and treating viruses didn't exist 100 years ago. “We have ventilators and the capacity to intubate patients in such a way that we can significantly manage the complications of a disease like this. And we also have the capacity to more effectively sanitize and hygienically treat people in hospital spaces. I think we also have the capacity to respond more effectively as individuals because of our generally higher levels and capacity for hygiene to wash our hands. We have access to clean water. All of these things that make it easier to sanitize the spaces that we live in and protect ourselves from COVID-19.”, he continued.

The massive displacements of WWI also rapidly spread the disease

White states, “After World War One, health systems were already shattered. People were weakened and compromised in general as a result of years of one of the most disastrous wars humanity has ever known. And as a result of people traveling back and forth from war zones to their home or refugees traveling back to their homelands, you had a lot of movement of people who are able to carry the disease more effectively than you might have outside of the context of war. And unlike coronavirus, which hits older people the hardest, the Spanish flu was deadly among the young and healthy. The Spanish flu pandemic ended quickly, in the summer of 1919. The virus may have mutated to become less deadly. But a few simple tactics also helped save lives, some of which are now being used to combat coronavirus.


03/18/2020 11:57 AM


  • AdEn S.
    04/22/2020 09:09

    Yes we have advance technology today, the scariest thing would happen is shortage of raw materials for manufacturing of medical equipments, since we are in lockdown. Shortage of medical health workers to take care those patients. That is the worst scenario in our present situation

  • Mbalenhle K.
    04/21/2020 07:24


  • Bunty P.
    04/19/2020 04:55

    So COVID is a repeat show of 1918. The cleansing of World population every 100 years. Isn't it?

  • Faith P.
    04/17/2020 13:44

    Blessed day everyone, dear friends let us believe in Jesus Christ as the Saviour whom God sent to die for our sins so that we will get eternal life and spend eternity in Heaven, and don't end up in hell. Hell is real and God doesn't want anyone to end up there because he created it for Satan. But those who will not believe in Jesus Christ as the Saviour of the world will sadly end up in hell. This is because it is only by believing in Jesus Christ that you can be saved from hell(Acts 16:31). If you want to know more about God, please visit Faith Love to Praise on You Tube ❤

  • Cristina G.
    04/17/2020 11:00

    Mas matindi pala dati, spanish flu.

  • Yna H.
    04/16/2020 07:50

    Salcedo Melody

  • Zorrow R.
    04/14/2020 15:27

    Year 1918 was killed 50 Million people.😱😱😱

  • Sarah I.
    04/14/2020 08:17

    My great grandad had this but recovered he caught in India was so ill got well again come back England had my nana to other daughters?

  • Barbara J.
    04/13/2020 12:12

    Trump wants to win 5he election. I wouldn't put it pass him and his legislators to blow this CORONAVIRUS thing out of control to win in November.

  • Ntlakanipho T.
    04/13/2020 11:38

    Dud it reach africa??

  • Yang H.
    04/13/2020 07:58

    Meanwhile morons on Reddit telling me that if they imposed Martial law to lock them into their homes it would be an irreversible step backwards in liberties Boy I sure wish I could go back to pre scarlet fever America!

  • RLy E.
    04/13/2020 00:33

    that word: "capacity" 🤔🤔 how about the capacity to protect ALL frontliners? how about the capacity for no frontliner to be harmed or die?

  • Godliness F.
    04/10/2020 03:21

    From that time Jesus began to preach his message: “Turn away from your sins, because the Kingdom of heaven is near!” (Matthew 4:17) You will never succeed in life if you try to hide your sins. Confess them and give them up; then God will show mercy to you. (Proverbs 28:13) Repent, then, of this evil plan of yours, and pray to the Lord that he will forgive you for thinking such a thing as this. (Acts 8:22) Do those things that will show that you have turned from your sins. (Matthew 3:8) Repent, then, and turn to God, so that he will forgive your sins. (Acts 3:19) So watch what you do! “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. (Luke 17:3) the Lord’s servant, you must not quarrel. You must be kind toward all, a good and patient teacher, who is gentle as you correct your opponents, for it may be that God will give them the opportunity to repent and come to know the truth. (2 Timothy 2:24-25) The apostles left and started telling everyone to turn to God. (Mark 6:12) Peter said to them, “Each one of you must turn away from your sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins will be forgiven; and you will receive God’s gift, the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38)

  • JD V.
    04/07/2020 17:30

    Spanish flu was AMERICAN.

  • Sheryl S.
    04/07/2020 02:45

    I just watched a documentary on the 1918 pandemic and it is on YouTube and there are a few different ones!! Stay home and stay safe please!! I’m praying 🧎‍♀️ for all of us today and everyday and we can do this together via Facebook, Twitter instagram,etc!!🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻 be kind to one another please and thank you for your part!!❤️❤️

  • Gert H.
    04/05/2020 21:08

    Is the world prepared for this?Do you have a Pandemic Survival Mindset

  • Donna K.
    04/03/2020 14:13

  • Peter B.
    04/03/2020 13:22

    Million of deaths to come, stay home stay safe stop the spread

  • Renz D.
    04/03/2020 13:07

    Kristel Perez

  • Carol F.
    04/01/2020 19:15

    It 5g

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