When looking back at pandemics in modern history, the 1918 Spanish influenza stands out. It took the lives of somewhere between 50 and 100 million people — and while it devastated the countries of the Global North, it took its greatest toll in the Global South. Science writer Laura Spinney reflects on the similarities — and significant differences — between the Spanish flu and Covid-19. She discusses how the pandemic took hold at the end of WW1 and struck down the young, and how many of the affected countries adopted universal healthcare in its wake.
Laura Spinney, Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How It Changed the World PublicAffairs, 2017