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U of U hosts digital exhibit of Utah's response to 1918 flu pandemic

Posted at 11:19 AM, Sep 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-28 13:19:39-04

SALT LAKE CITY — The University of Utah's J. Willard Marriott Library has launched a digital exhibition comparing newspaper headlines from the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic to COVID-19 today.

The interactive exhibit features historic headlines from the time, including the shuttering of businesses, rising case numbers and the politicization of face coverings.

"Looking back at our history helps us put the current pandemic in context," Logan Mitchell, a research assistant professor in the department of atmospheric sciences who worked on the exhibit, said in a statement released by the U. "It was surprising to me that some of the same interventions we're using today were also used a century ago. Also, some of the challenges we're facing today are reminiscent of what happened back then, despite a century of advances in health research and technology."

FOX 13 reported on the similarities that historians noted between the 1918 pandemic and COVID-19 back in July. Historians, and even Utah's Department of Health, have looked to lessons learned from the 1918 flu to guide response to this pandemic.

You can see the U's exhibit here.