Coronavirus and the Sun: a Lesson from the
1918 Influenza Pandemic
Richard Hobday
Mar 10 · 6 min read
Fresh air, sunlight and improvised face masks seemed to work a century ago; and they might
help us now.
by Richard Hobday
When new, virulent diseases emerge, such SARS and Covid-19, the race begins to find new
vaccines and treatments for those affected. As the current crisis unfolds, governments are
enforcing quarantine and isolation, and public gatherings are being discouraged. Health officials
took the same approach 100 years ago, when influenza was spreading around the world. The
results were mixed. But records from the 1918 pandemic suggest one technique for dealing with
influenza — little-known today — was effective.