What we can learn from how the 1918 pandemic ended

Overconfidence, indifference and weariness are perhaps the greatest dangers

Even though Omicron appears to be less virulent, the seven-day average for daily Covid-19 deaths in the US has now surpassed the Delta peak in late September. PHOTO: REUTERS
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(NYTIMES) - Most histories of the 1918 influenza pandemic that killed at least 50 million people worldwide say it ended in the summer of 1919 when a third wave of the respiratory contagion finally subsided. Yet the virus continued to kill.

A variant that emerged in 1920 was lethal enough that it should have counted as a fourth wave. In some cities, among them Detroit, Milwaukee, Minneapolis and Kansas City, deaths exceeded even those in the second wave, responsible for most of the pandemic's deaths in the United States.

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