The Past, The Present, The Past

Paula Lillquist, Tech Editor

 The coronavirus has forced us to be present and aware in the time that we are in now. Families go about day by day staying inside in order to prevent the virus from being spread further. While we are trying to live in the now, studying the past can help us move towards the future. The coronavirus is not the only pandemic that has swept the nations. The Flu Pandemic (1968), HIV/AIDs Pandemic, Asian Fly (1956-1958), and the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918 all had tremendously high death tolls. The Spanish Flu had one of the highest death tolls ranging from 25- 50 million people. Scientists and officials have proceeded carefully with this virus and are implementing all of their rules based on past experiences. 

  The origin of flattening the curve comes from the Spanish Flu. Although America had been warned about this Flu, Pennsylvania decided to ignore this announcement and proceed with a parade. This deeply worsened the situation and spiked the amount of cases which caused hospitals to be overwhelmed with patients. St. Louis, Missouri- on the other hand- had taken this public service announcement seriously and closed churches, schools, theaters, and banned public gatherings. This allowed for the number of cases to spread out over a long period of time. Junior, Chistopher Billa states,“ Although there is plenty of evidence to back up social distancing and quarantine, people STILL don’t listen. There are still plenty of people breaking these rules to go hangout with friends and even participate in mass protests, which is absolutely absurd.” 

  Additionally, by looking at the past we can see what may happen if quarantine and social distancing measures are taken out too soon. In San Francisco, after seeing a steady decline in the amount of reported cases, officials had decided to lift quarantine. However, almost immediately after this virus came back with a vengeance and caused another spike in the death toll. Junior Ivanna Milian states,  “We are still taking the same technical precautions that they did 100 years ago. The fact  that we are actively trying to find a vaccine in order to stop the spread of it, it goes back to the past and it shows us that the past shows us what we should be doing. Studying viruses plays another key role because some viruses mutate from others which will help lead to a vaccine much faster.”

  The past gives us the blueprint to the future. Studying, interpreting, and understanding is very important in order to give life saving information.