What it was like to live through the 1918 flu pandemic
Over a century later, what have we learned?
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When you look around at the masked faces, empty grocery stores, and non-stop headlines, it’s easy to feel like we are living a moment unlike any other. The world’s governments’ varied responses to crisis and the radical changes in our day-to-day lives seem unprecedented, but, in fact, the world underwent this fearful shift about one century ago.
The 1918 flu pandemic, also known as the “Spanish flu,” took everyone by surprise with its deadly and fast-spreading disease. In total, it lasted about a year and infected an estimated 500 million people—about a quarter of the world's population at the time—and resulted in about 50 million deaths across the globe. But all of that was not for nothing, and we can use that experience to help us now. Click through to see what it was like to live through the 1918 flu.