America Survived A Pandemic Over 100 Years Ago and Can Do It Again

For so many of us, it’s hard to fathom that our nation has ever lived through a pandemic before, let alone survived one. We are adapting and powering onward like never before. Many businesses have had to close their services or adopt new ways of growing their business. It’s a wonder what our new normal will be like once this is all over. However, a pandemic shutdown did happen over 100 years ago and believe it or not, actually helped grow the economy.

The Flu of 1918

The flu…many of us have had it before and when flu season comes around we have the option of getting a vaccine to prevent it. However, back in 1918, the flu was like the current coronavirus. The world went into a global pandemic when the flu first started spreading. Like now, a pandemic shutdown was issued to slow down the spread of the virus. According to Federal Reserve researchers, who analyzed the 1918 influenza pandemic in the U.S., found that the Coronavirus containment measures may ultimately be better for economic growth.

The research was released in a paper last month on March 26th, 2020, and stated that influenza, which killed between 550,000 to 675,000 Americans, caused a “sharp and persistent fall in real economic activity.” That year, a U.S. state obtained an 18% reduction in manufacturing output at the average level of exposure in their region. For years, the effect of the flu lingered and depressed economies, especially in the areas where there were higher levels of infection.

Action and steps were taken to halt the virus’ spread like we are conducting with social distancing. Back then it was called “non-pharmaceutical interventions” or NPIs as identified by the researchers. “Cities that implemented more rapid and forceful non-pharmaceutical health interventions did not experience worse downturns,” the researchers wrote. “In contrast, evidence on manufacturing activity and bank assets suggests that the economy performed better in areas with more aggressive NPIs after the pandemic.”

The research paper found clear distinctions between COVID-19 and influenza. For one thing, the flu did have a higher mortality rate. However, there are possible correlations between both pandemics, such as the authors citing places like Taiwan and Singapore that implemented early social distancing measures. They have limited the infection growth and have “mitigated the worst economic disruption caused by the pandemic.”

No one really knows what will happen and how soon the global pandemic caused by COVID-19 will last. As a small business, we will continue to adhere to guidelines to help restore our economy and bring it back, to what will be, our new normal soon. If you’re in need of growing your business during the Coronavirus through our printing services, connect with a team member to get started today!



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