As Omicron cases drop, what does the future hold for COVID? Take clues from 1918 flu

Some 700,000 Americans died due to the 1918 Spanish Flu. Credit: Otis Historical Archives.

New COVID-19 cases in the U.S. are dropping fast as the Omicron surge wanes. Deaths and hospitalizations, however, continue to rise locally and nationally. It’s unclear when the pandemic will end or at least reach the endemic stage, but looking at the last big pandemic in 1918 can offer clues.



  • John Barry - distinguished scholar at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, author of “The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History”