Chicago Tribune

Comparing COVID-19 with previous national crises such as Vietnam War, Spanish flu: Historians weigh in on the similarities and differences

Already, COVID-19 has killed more people than World War I and Vietnam - combined.

Coronavirus has pushed the unemployment rate to levels not seen since the Great Depression.

A national poll shows historic levels of unhappiness.

Six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, there's little question that the virus many of us hadn't even heard of in January has upended American life, but just how bad is the damage? A half-dozen experts had a wide range of answers, with several saying that COVID-19 is in the same league as national crises such as the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, the Great Depression of the 1930s, World War II, polio, the Vietnam War and the oil shortages of the 1970s.

Chicago historian Rich

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