Tommy: Similarities abound between the coronavirus and the 1918 pandemic

Face mask with a map of the world on it
Photo credit RomeoLu/Getty Images
Just as Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How it Changed America became my go-to source after Hurricane Katrina, The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History has become my go-to book for the novel coronavirus pandemic. It’s author, John Barry authored both, and was nice enough to spend an hour with us this morning.

There are many differences and many similarities between both pandemics which occurred about a century apart. One similarity is the importance of wearing masks, which was written about in an article published in the August 10th edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association. For clarification that would be the August 10, 1918 edition of JAMA.

One big difference is the way the two men who were president chose to handle the respective pandemic. Woodrow Wilson chose to completely ignore it. Even the most ardent supporter of President Trump would have to admit that his messaging on the virus has been mixed at best.