Chuck Lanehart looks into the 1918 to 1920 Spanish Flu in this week’s Caprock Chronicle. It’s easy to draw parallels to today’s Coronavirus pandemic, but also many differences.
For starters, the town of Lubbock was small and the entire South Plains region had fewer than 90,000 residents. Lubbock today is much larger and the impact of a pandemic will affect more families. Most of the economy more than a century ago was based on small family farms.
Citizens were kept informed of the influenza via the Lubbock Avalanche newspaper, published weekly. Modeling and statistical analysis of the spread was nearly non-existent. Similar to today, the virus created fear of the unknown and many citizens questioned business closures and social distancing.