Short Wave: Letters From The 1918 Pandemic

The 1918 flu outbreak was one of the most devastating pandemics in world history, infecting one third of the world’s population and killing an estimated 50 million people.

While our understanding of infectious diseases and their spread has come a long way since then, 1918 was notably a time when the U.S. practiced widespread social distancing.

Medical historian Dr. Howard Markel, director of the Center for the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan, shares lessons learned from 1918 and Short Wave reporter Emily Kwong shares 102-year-old letters from her aunt’s family.


Short Wave Podcast

It’s science for everyone, using a lot of creativity and a little humor. Join host Maddie Sofia for science on a different wavelength.

Science Topics
Biology, Health & Medicine, Microbiology
Middle School, High School
7th Grade, 8th Grade, 9th Grade, 10th Grade, 11th Grade, 12th Grade, Adults

What are you looking for?


Short Wave (NPR)

Website URL

Type of Resource


Assigned Categories