The lessons learned from 1918 flu fatigue, according to historians
More than a century ago, exhausted Americans just wanted to forget about two years of lockdowns and mask mandates—but experts warn against repeating history.
Two decades after surviving an influenza pandemic that devastated the United States, Katherine Anne Porter recounted her experiences in one of the best-known accounts of the period—the 1939 novella Pale Horse, Pale Rider.
In her story, Porter describes how many young people felt as though their lives were threatened by the dual strike of a deadly virus and World War I. Miranda, the main character, recovers from influenza, but sinks into depression as she attempts to rejoin society. The novella ends on a note of optimism, however, where Miranda dreams of a world with no war and no more plague, and she’d have time for “everything.”
Historians say it’s unclear when the 1918 flu actually did end—and that’s partly because Americans were