Well, this is timely. This juvenile graphic novel came out in 2008, and I’m sure the author and illustrators never thought they would have to live through a pandemic themselves.
This is meant for kids around 4th grade, and tries to explain what happened during the pandemic. It focuses on the speed and deadliness of the virus, but also on the uncertainty. Some of the things that they did will definitely be familiar with kids today, especially the closing of schools and the use of masks in public.
Some of the things they talk about may not be true, however. We aren’t certain where the virus started, but this implies that it started in Kansas (which is only one of multiple theories.) In the “More Facts” section, they also say that because Spain was so hard hit, people thought it originated there and started calling it the Spanish Flu. From what I’ve found, people called it the Spanish Flu because Spain wasn’t part of WWI, and therefore didn’t have a wartime gag order on the press, who was free to report on the disease. Countries that were fighting wanted to keep morale up, and so either didn’t report on the disease or tried to say as little as possible.
We have learned from the past, which is why our current pandemic is not as deadly as the previous one. Some estimates put the number of worldwide cases at around 500 million and the deaths anywhere between 17 and 100 million. We’re currently (October 2020) at 37 million cases worldwide with over 1 million deaths from COVID-19, which shows that social distancing and quarantining do work! Everyone knew about the disease much earlier, and reporting was not stifled (or not for very long.) Also, we’re not a war in the trenches. That probably helps too. But we’ll see what happens as we open back up. We have every hope that we will do better than we did in the past.
While not exactly what the square description is, I couldn’t help myself, so this fulfills the CBR12 Bingo square of “Pandemic”