1918 Flu and Covid 19

This paper aims to give an opportunity to think about this historic event you are living through, our own global pandemic with Covid, in light of a comparative example with the 1918 influenza outbreak (a global pandemic a century earlier). Below I have listed for you four potential questions; choose 1 to write your paper.

Essay prompt:

  1. Distributive Impact/Equity: “We’re all in this together!” This has been a common refrain early on in Covid, and for this question, I want you to think about the meanings of this collective experience of the pandemic. Are we all in this together now? How does this compare with a collective experience of influenza in 1918? What has been the distributive impacts of these two pandemics? Please compare and contrast.
  • Politics and Pandemic: How have politicians responded to these two pandemics in similar and/or different ways? Please compare and contrast. What is different about the contexts and how much progress has been made, if at all?
  • The Globe in Global Pandemics: What has international cooperation looked like in these two pandemics? What’s different about the context (you may consider here different experiences of war; World War in 1918, ongoing wars in Afghanistan, Yemen, as well other global conflicts now). How much progress have we made, if at all?
  • Media Coverage of the two Pandemics: What has been the response of the media to these two pandemics, how have they been reported on? What is similar about context, what is different about context, and how much progress (if at all) has been made in helping to inform the public (or publics) about what is going on?

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