COVID-19 has disrupted world economies, the education sector, and whatnot. It has made us rethink our priorities and our lifestyle.
The governments and authorities worldwide are issuing safety guidelines so that its spread can be prevented. We see advertisements on different mediums such as newspapers, television, social media platforms, etc. Even our caller tune is not spared from this.
Amidst COVID-19, we were also reminded of the past pandemics that created havoc in their times. The most recent one is the Spanish flu that was widespread in 1918. It was a deadly influenza pandemic caused by the H1N1 virus.
Millions of people lost their lives worldwide. Battling it was the biggest challenge which was faced by the then governments. Just like COVID-19, the key to battling H1N1 was social isolation and preventive hygiene measures.
If you ever got curious as to what kind of advertisements were circulated among the public a century ago, then you are in for a treat. We dug up a few ads from the 1918 Spanish flu, and they are freakishly similar to the COVID-19 ones.
Advertisements From The 1918 Spanish Flu
“Cover your mouth when you sneeze and cough”, “Stay at home if you have a cold”, “Avoid those that cough and sneeze”. The Spanish flu was also spread by coming in contact with an infected person, and hence these precautions were necessary to prevent it.
Masks are turning out to be the saviour in this pandemic, and they played the same role 102 years ago as well. This advert focuses on wearing masks, just like we are reminded every day to wear one before stepping out.
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Spitting is equivalent to committing a serious crime in recent times, and this was the case in 1918 also. There are greater chances of the virus being spread through acts like sneezing, coughing, and spitting.
While the first two are involuntary, spitting is not. Hence, to prevent the spread, it was necessary to not spit in the open.
I am sure that in these six months, you must have made at least one mask by yourself or witnessed a close acquaintance doing so. Many people, including homemakers, even started the business of making and selling masks. The government advisory on how to make one safely helped in the process.
Similarly, guidelines on how to make a mask were released by the government during the influenza pandemic also.
Aren’t these lines similar to the ones that we hear and read every day? Freakishly similar, right?
But there is one difference. Back then, these Spanish flu ads were made primarily by keeping men in mind, not women.
Men considered wearing masks a feminine practice and were reluctant to use them. This is why male figures and cartoons were used in these advertisements.
The influenza pandemic ended because people followed these guidelines diligently and worked on the prevention of the spread of the virus. If we also want COVID-19 to end, then it is pivotal to take care of personal hygiene and follow the guidelines.
Image Credits: Google Images
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