PANDEMICS ARE NOT new to us and we have always been susceptible to outbreaks and epidemics. In 1918 Spanish flu swept the world and claimed 50 million lives. Since then we started to learn how to deal with infectious diseases and protect the population from the worst. Spanish flu only claimed so many lives because there was no healthcare system, living conditions were generally bad so people weren’t as healthy and they didn’t live so long. By the time the next epidemic came along – SARS in 2002 and MERS in 2012 – the concept of isolation and quarantine was widely practiced, the population was more healthy, with better diet and living conditions. SARS caused only 8000 deaths worldwide.
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
George Santayana (Philosopher)
The introduction of COVID-19 restrictions – such as mask-wearing, physical and social distancing, and restricted international travel resulted in “extremely low” levels of influenza across the world in 2020/21.
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