3 cities kept schools open during the 1918 pandemic. Experts say 2020 is different.

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Found at ABC News:

July 26, 2020


3 cities kept schools open during the 1918 pandemic. Experts say 2020 is different.


There is a difference in the diseases and how schools now operate.

When the influenza pandemic struck America in 1918, most cities responded with measures that included closing schools.

Yet three cities -- New York, Chicago and New Haven, Connecticut -- vowed to remain open.

The schools had extensive public health programs in place and argued that keeping students in school was "an opportunity to implement the public health strategies of school medical inspection and intensified disease surveillance," according to a public health report published in 2010.

Now, more than a century later, as society faces the same question of whether to reopen schools during a pandemic, experts warn that what allowed those three cities to stay open in 1918 is no longer viable....

.Dr. Howard Markel, a co-author of the report and a distinguished professor of the history of medicine at the University of Michigan's School of Public Health, told ABC News that the situations "differ in a billion ways," namely that there is still little known about the coronavirus and there is no longer an emphasis on public health in schools.

"There was a system in place that has long been dismantled," Markel said.




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Oddly enough, those most in favor of opening schools are least in favor of the type of public health structure that would enable schools to re-open.