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How will history compare the Covid 19 pandemic to the Spanish Flu 100 years ago?

Article by Ceri Wheeldon

spanish flu pandemic 100 years ago image

We have all experienced so much upheaval in our lives over the past 12 months – so thankful we have our roadmap to (hopefully) freedom in June here in the UK.

Without going into the rights or wrongs of government policy and handling of the situation, how will we remember this period of our lives….and how will history look at it in 100 years time?

What lessons can be taken forward should something similar happen in the future?

Photos from the Spanish Flu Pandemic

A really good friend of mine in Canada sent me these fabulous photos taken during the Spanish Flu pandemic. Apart from the fashions , so similar to how we are dealing with our pandemic today – with some rather ingenious mask designs!

Theatres and public venues closed, mask wearing – new to us but experienced by generations before us!

I wanted to share these so that you can enjoy them as much as my friend and I did. I guess the pointed masks were helpful in enforcing social distancing!!

spanish flu pandemic image 1

spanish flu pandemic image 2

spanish flu pandemic image 3

spanish flu 5 image

It will be interesting to see how we, and future generations look back at 2020/2021.

Many years ago my grandfather shared his words of advice- when I was in my 20s just as I was about to get married and emigrate to Canada ( I returned) . He said ‘We all know what we can do with in life, but think about what you can do without’.  I think this last 12 months has really made me reflect on that statement.

Changing priorities

Personally I have learnt a lot about myself and my priorities – I have also better understood who my real friends are – and distanced myself from those who constantly flouted the rules and whose lives seemed to centre around gossip!!

I have survived without shopping, without holidays, without the theatre and cinema, without face to work meetings, without restaurants.

I have missed not seeing close friends and family, and am so appreciate of those friendships that have grown stronger because of the interaction we’ve had during this difficult period. I have realised which friends values are more aligned to my own…and those who in reality I have very little in common with when there are no ‘activities’ to entertain us!

My family has had to cope with bereavement and illness in the worst possible circumstances – situations you would not wish on anyone, and yet we have been able to pull through and be supportive using technology.

I do wonder if this period has effectively forced upon us all a ‘reset’ button to review our lives and go back to basics?

It will be interesting to see what the coming years bring – and how this period will be remembered.

What are your thoughts?


Ceri Wheeldon

Ceri is Founder and Editor of Fabafterfifty.co.uk She is a frequent speaker at events and in the media on topics related to women over 50 , including style and living agelessly. With 20+ years experience as a headhunter Ceri also now helps support those looking to extend their working lives.

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