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Central Illinois historians have been curious about how the coronavirus pandemic has compared to that of the Spanish Flu of 1918. Their findings: the events are playing out very similarly to each other. 


Candace Summers with the McLean County Museum of History indicates her research found many comparisons between the two pandemics. Social distancing, wearing masks, and encouraging handwashing were all implemented in McLean County in 1918.



The Bloomington Red Cross chapter, which had only been founded three years prior, organized drives for beds, jams, and jellies. Summers points out volunteers also made masks and hospital gowns.



Summers says the main difference between the two diseases is the age range of fatalities. Younger people were more likely to succumb to the Spanish Flu, while the elderly are the most at risk for the coronavirus.



Summers encourages the public to document how the pandemic is affecting their lives so future generations can now what life was like.

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