When history is asleep, it is memory that wakes it up, when memory itself falls into stupor, we invoke remembrance to kick it into active consciousness. To forget is human, it also falls within the province of man to remember. That is why we need to draw a line between those who forget to remember and those who remember to forget.
As the federal government and various state governments release phases of easing the lockdown in the wake of the global pandemic called coronavirus otherwise called COVID-19, there is therefore need for increased personal and collective hygienic measures bearing in mind the guideline protocols.
The citizens have to maintain utmost personal hygiene by washing their hands regularly with running water, sanitize their hands with alcoholic-based sanitizer, maintain social distancing and keep to all guideline protocols which are needed to combat the virus.
In the light of the Covid-19 pandemic a lot of conversations have been brought around past pandemics. Four of them are being talked about. The most is 2009 Swine Flu, 1968 Hong Kong Flu, 1957-58 Asian Flu and 1918-20 Spanish Flu. The MERS of 2012-13 was not a pandemic. All these historical pandemics being talked about right now have been some kind of influenza or similar diseases.
Covid-19, which is caused by the novel coronavirus or SARS-CoV-2, is the least fatal of them all. Spanish Flu was the most fatal and is also the most-talked about historical flu right now. It killed about 4-5 crore people worldwide. Crore describes ten million, one hundred lakhs especially….of people
Every tragedy leaves behind a lesson that helps us prevent or better deal with future catastrophes as long as it is not forgotten. Spanish Flu and Covid-19 have uncanny similarities in the lesson the two pandemics offer to human kind.
Just like in the case of Covid-19, there was no known medicine available to treat Spanish Flu. The world of medical science was in a nascent stage back then. Developing a vaccine against Spanish Flu was out of question. The first flu vaccine came on the scene only in 1940. The first antibiotic medicine came in 1928, years after Spanish Flu had ravaged the human population.
It was lockdown, social distancing and masks that saved the world, particularly the developed one, back then. Health professionals in America and Europe wore face masks to reduce chances of contracting Spanish Flu while treating patients, who were coming in huge numbers every day.
According to www. Indiatoday, it is worthy of note that when the lockdown was ease down, the real death came that increased the toll. Some American cities enforced lockdowns, not exactly like the ones today, but they cancelled public events and asked people to keep distance. Two American cities are particularly worth looking at Philadelphia and St Luis. Both the cities were impacted by Spanish Flu.
While Philadelphia went about its business as usual, St Luis imposed restrictions. One month later, the number of those dying of Spanish Flu in Philadelphia was around 10,000. On the other hand, the death toll in St Luis was only around 700. Many other cities that had closed their churches, schools, theatres and other public places reported fewer Spanish Flu deaths than cities that had not enforced lockdowns or asked people to practice social distancing.
In the treatment of Spanish Flu, the doctors accidentally discovered that those forced to spend their recuperating time under direct sun and in open air recovered faster than those kept in cooler places, inside the hospital rooms or under the shades.
Now, research also shows that open or well-ventillated places are better in reducing the chances of coronavirus infection. Researchers have found that using air-conditioners in a room where a Covid-19 patient is being kept can increase the chances of spread of infection. The Indian government has issued an advisory on how to use air-conditioners during coronavirus.
The Covid-19 pandemic may end up reshaping the world just like Spanish Flu along similar or different contours. Lessons from both the pandemics are, however, almost the same – masks, lockdown, social distancing, cleaner air and sunrays are tools to fight next pandemic because that too will not have a vaccine or a known medical protocol for treatment.
There is need to be careful and understand that the temporary ease down by the governments is not a time to live unmindful of the fact that the COVID-19 is real. Those who say it is not real are simply expressing the fact that they have not been hit or that anybody closer to them is not infested.
We must avoid crowded places, carry our sanitizers along with us and ensure that we keep our environment clean, wear face masks, regularly wash our hands and maintain social distancing to be alive. Remember COVID-19 does not spread, it is people that spread it. Be mindful of your movement. We must increase safety measures now that there is ease of lockdown. I see some persons jumping into the streets with joy, we must reassess that joy for a more reflective moment of living and staying safe healthy by increasing the level of careful.\
Written By Chigozie Uzosike