The Russian Flu with Tom Ewing
Episode 108 - April 6, 2023
Tom Ewing (Virginia Tech) joins the Infectious Historians to discuss his work on the Russian Flu, a late 19th century influenza pandemic that resonates with the early 20th century Spanish Flu. After setting the stage and touching upon the name of the pandemic as well as its reasoning and implications, the conversation moves to reflect upon the interest (or lack thereof) in the Russian Flu, followed by moving into the topic of mortality counts – covering both their attraction to observers and the difficulties in actually reaching reliable numbers. The next part of the conversation examines the comparison between the Russian and Spanish Flus as well as how the memory of the Russian Flu influenced expectations and behaviors during the Spanish Flu. This soon leads towards Covid within the broader context of earlier pandemics.
Professor, Department of History
Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research, The College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences