Ida Milne disseminates findings from research on the 1918-1919 flu to inform various aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the impact on economics, politics, medicine, and on society in general. Milne shows the long-term impact of health impairment and loss of life from the 1918-1919 pandemic on individuals and families. An important part of this work is to show, as society is paralyzed by these diseases, how the various sectors go through different stages as they puzzle through what responses are best.
To date, Milne has written 40,000 journalistic or blog words during the pandemic to show how the history of the 1918 pandemic can inform the current pandemic and has participated in dozens of media interviews and taken part in documentaries and podcasts. Milne focuses on demonstrating how humanities research of this type can be useful for society.
This effort to bring the history of the 1918-1919 pandemic to bear on the experience of COVID-19 has had very direct practical applications; in particular, it has been used by an Irish group called the COVID Influencers – leading medical professionals and other professionals involved in managing and advising on the pandemic in Ireland. They used various aspects of Milne's historical research, including information about the search for cures; the struggle to contain the disease; the impact on healthcare, on economics, and on politics; the impact on public trust in healthcare and government; and many other aspects.
Explore the Humanities pathways that led to this project