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The War Nurse


A sweeping novel by an international bestselling author based on a true World ...
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How does the 1918 Spanish flu outbreak compare to the 2020 novel coronavirus? Are there lessons that can be learned from the way Julia and her nurses battle their pandemic?

Created: 07/08/21

Replies: 11

Posted Jul. 08, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2674

How does the 1918 Spanish flu outbreak compare to the 2020 novel coronavirus? Are there lessons that can be learned from the way Julia and her nurses battle their pandemic?

How does the 1918 Spanish flu outbreak compare to the 2020 novel coronavirus? Are there lessons that can be learned from the way Julia and her nurses battle their pandemic?


Posted Jul. 08, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
djcminor

Join Date: 03/14/19

Posts: 123

RE: How does the 1918 Spanish flu ...

The Spanish Flu outbreak and the 2020 COVID virus both point out weaknesses in the health care system, especially for the poor. Because the country was not prepared for a pandemic in both 1918 and 2020, it caught health care professionals, the public, and suppliers up short. Some people's reluctance to believe in the science behind saving lives also contributes to the difficulty of stopping the pandemic.


Posted Jul. 08, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
vivianh

Join Date: 11/14/11

Posts: 111

RE: How does the 1918 Spanish flu ...

I actually believe for the time, officials and health care professionals reacted with greater responsiveness. My husband’s great grandfather died in the 1918 flu pandemic. His pregnant wife, in vitro son and 2 daughters survived. Frankly, the folks in 1918 used common sense & didn’t destroy the economy or over react...unlike 2020.


Posted Jul. 10, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cindyr

Join Date: 05/25/21

Posts: 8

RE: How does the 1918 Spanish flu ...

I found it interesting that when the soldiers started getting sick, the higher ups thought they were trying to get out of going to the front line to fight. Much like Covid-19, it's been the health workers who immediately saw what was happening and not only took care of the ill, but were instrumental in getting the government to do "something."


Posted Jul. 11, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
carriem

Join Date: 10/19/20

Posts: 60

RE: How does the 1918 Spanish flu ...

As others have said both pandemics show the weaknesses of the health care system, especially amongst the underprivileged, and how the country was not prepared and the pandemic spread more widely especially today with more traveling for pleasure and business (until the country shutdown). We should note, however, in the conversation with the author Tracey Enerson Wood, the Spanish Flu would have been a problem in the Fall of 1918, after the story takes place, but with COVID and the death of Charlotte Cox from flu, the Spanish Flu had to have a larger subplot in the story.


Posted Jul. 11, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
terriej

Join Date: 07/28/11

Posts: 326

RE: How does the 1918 Spanish flu ...

I think it's very similar. There were people in both pandemics who felt it wasn't real and they weren't in danger.


Posted Jul. 11, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
christineb

Join Date: 10/13/11

Posts: 95

RE: How does the 1918 Spanish flu ...

I think the outbreak of the Spanish flu was in many ways comparable to our pandemic. I thought that especially with the close quarters they were working with the nurses did a good job isolating all those that they could. I was amazed that more did not die.


Posted Jul. 13, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ScribblingScribe

Join Date: 02/29/16

Posts: 140

RE: How does the 1918 Spanish flu ...

There are many similarities between the two pandemics, though the current pandemic has resulted in far fewer deaths--just over 4 million worldwide (as of today) compared to 50 million in 1918. The 1918 flu was primarily spread by soldiers in the war effort, either on the way there or from one battlefield location to another. It spread along train and ship lines. In our more global world, COVID spread faster and wider, but the mortality rate has been much lower. In both pandemics, the medical professionals worked tirelessly to save lives. I thought this section of the book was fascinating.


Posted Jul. 22, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
taking.mytime's Gravatar
taking.mytime

Join Date: 03/29/16

Posts: 261

RE: How does the 1918 Spanish flu ...

They knew at that outpost that they had to quarantine those with the Spanish Flu. They knew that flu was highly contagious. They understood that to protect themselves they needed to keep nurses to a minimum and that they needed to wear gloves and masks when working with their patients. They tried to separate patients and maintain maximum distance between the patients.

These are some of the ways that the Spanish flu and the Corona Virus are similar - quick spreading, highly contagious and the need to protect those working with patients. There are still strains of the 1918 Spanish flu current today and likewise I fully expect some strain of the 2020 Corona Virus to still be with us 100 or more years into the future.


Posted Jul. 23, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
carolt

Join Date: 03/25/17

Posts: 120

RE: How does the 1918 Spanish flu ...

I've read a bit about the 1918 epidemic and am a little surprised that Julia responded to it as quickly in the novel as she did. As with 2020, the whole world was taken by surprise. I wonder if our perception that there was little pushback on health measures is just our hindsight and the economic and political upheaval we find ourselves and our 24/7 news cycle, as opposed to the war concerns and total reliance on print of 1918.


Posted Aug. 12, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
nancyh

Join Date: 06/25/13

Posts: 290

RE: How does the 1918 Spanish flu ...

i agree with most the discussions above when they thought the country was not prepared for either virus. My Mother was a young woman during the 1918 flu. She said it was a terrible time. It seems in the 1918 flu, they were quicker to realize what had to be done than in 2020. It is my opinion, that this could happen again and I hope we are better equipped from the start.


Posted Aug. 12, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
llsmill

Join Date: 02/13/13

Posts: 32

RE: How does the 1918 Spanish flu ...

The lessons they learned long ago about distancing from each other, washing hands and masks were all things the nurses and drs used to protect themselves from the 1918 influenza outbreak. These were all told to everyone to use to protect themselves against getting or spreading the covid virus. Today we also have the use of disinfectants and alcohol rich hand sanitizers which were not available back in 1918. The basic premise of what they used then still bodes as a priority for stopping the spread of infectious disease today.


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