Lessons from 1918: Old Pandemic is a Murky Guide for Sports

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Johnny Smith, asssociate professor in the School of History and Sociology, was quoted in the article "Lessons from 1918: Old Pandemic is a Murky Guide for Sports" on May 21, 2020 from the Associated Press.

Smith, whose book War Fever: Boston, Baseball, and America in the Shadow of the Great War, written with Randy Roberts of Purdue University, has become especially relevant in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, spoke to how sports fans could approach the idea of large crowds at games and whether there were parallels to the 1918 influenza pandemic.

Excerpt:

“I think a lot of people will hesitate to attend sporting events as spectators until there is a proven vaccine,” Georgia Tech professor of sports history Johnny Smith said.

“I think there are parallels in what we can learn from 1918 in terms of how we respond to a pandemic,” Smith added. “The cities that were hesitant and didn’t impose closure orders as quickly had far more fatalities. I think the lesson we can draw in general from 1918 about how to respond to a pandemic is that closure orders and social distancing is effective.”

Read the full article here.

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Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, School of History and Sociology

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Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, School of History and Sociology
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  • Created By: ifrazer3
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: May 22, 2020 - 6:34pm
  • Last Updated: May 22, 2020 - 6:35pm