by Daniel, Junior Council

As we stay at home and learn remotely during these pandemic times, it is important to note how  Canadians have understood such uncertain times in our past. It is part of examining our heritage to not only review the actual tales of bygone days, but also how we were able to prevail in the end, or how our nation continued on. Around 100 years ago, Canadians witnessed one of the worst disease pandemics in all of history: the Spanish Flu (which did not come from Spain, in fact its origins are still debated today). It killed millions of people in the years after the First World War, and because of the older technology and undeveloped forms of diagnosis in those days, we couldn’t stop it. It was a silent enemy, and is still around today. Both COVID-19 and the Spanish Flu are viruses, which meant that both could spread easily without the necessary precautions.

So how did we combat the virus in the past, and how has it changed? Notably, we now have better forms of treatment and diagnosis, along with better research techniques. The Canadian medical system now also has a quicker reaction to the virus, thanks to our expanded digital community, along with having made preparation for such events (such as medical stockpiles). However, one of the major things we do, staying at home and quarantining possibly asymptomatic carriers, were also done in the past. So in these uncertain times, when we look back at similar events, it is interesting to learn how much we still retain from the past, and how much we have changed.