"Die Demaskierung des Virus oder die Konstruktion einer historischen Analogie: Der Pressespiegel des Dr. John Howard L. Cumpston und die ‘Spanische Grippe’ von 1918-1920 in Australien."
At least 15,000 Australians died as a result of the so-called ‘Spanish Flu’ between 1918 and 1920. The administrative strategies for containment remained primarily the responsibility of the government authorities – successes and failures in fighting the pandemic correlated with the degree of harmonization between medical advice, official rules and civic responsibility. Dr. John Howard L. Cumpston who in 1921 became the first Australian Director-General of the Department of Health created a large volume of press cuttings on the influenza epidemic. This set ’appears to have been collected for use in the preparation of a series of official pamphlets‘. Today, this press kit sheds light on Australia’s contemporary view of the ’Spanish Flu‘. The following analysis illustrates Australia’s response to the spread of the virus (also with regard to the occurrence of the COVID-19 pandemic after exactly 100 years) under the aspects of collective action and individual denial – without arguing for a historical analogy.