How Did Life Change After the Spanish Flu (And How Might Ours Change Post-COVID-19)?

Photo Courtesy: Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Getty Images, Debajyoti Chakraborty/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Early in 2020, the novel coronavirus moved beyond the boundaries of China and quickly turned into a health threat for the entire world. While some of the impacts of the virus — wearing masks and social distancing, for example — will hopefully fade with time, other impacts may persist much longer than most of us would like. When it comes to ongoing life adjustments, we may very well see many of the recent changes sticking around for the long term.

The current fear and upheaval weren’t like anything we’ve ever experienced, but this isn't the first pandemic to affect the entire world. The Spanish flu pandemic started in early 1918 and raged on until 1920, claiming at least 50 million lives and changing the world forever. With everyone concerned about the future, taking a look at that pandemic’s long-term impacts may give us a glimpse at what we can expect in a post-COVID-19 world.