The most undervalued resource on the internet...
... is probably the archive of newspapers.
Reading through old news is incredibly illuminating of our own time. You can, in many cases, see the Future Through the Past.
As someone wise said, "History does not repeat, but it does rhyme." You see that in a news headline like this one from the Long Beach Press paper of 1919.
Which looks very much like news that we're seeing today.
NPR commentator Tim Mak wrote a truly remarkable (and lengthy) blog post about the parallels between the COVID-19 pandemic and the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918.
This made me start thinking that there's an interesting SRS Challenge here. And here it is...
1. Can you find articles from the news archives of 1918 and 1919 that will show us what happened back then, and MORE IMPORTANTLY, give us a clue about what might happen in the months and years ahead?
That is, can we see the Future Through the Past?
Obviously, you'll need to first figure out how to access and search through news archives. (See my earlier SRS post about this: Online News Archives and another one for some tips about how to do this.)
The trick here will be to find the right search terms that will let you discover the major events of the pandemic, and what we should look forward to. Off the top of my head, I'm not sure what to search for to get into this topic.
This means that you'll have to clarify your research questions as you read along. For example, in the above example, the phrase "Anti-Mask League" is a promising lead. A clarifying question might be: What happened to the League?
You'll also have to figure out what questions you might like to see answered about the future course of COVID. Here are some thoughts:
a. How did your nation recover from the economic downturn caused by the Spanish Flu? What articles can you find that tell us what to look for?
b. How well did the protests against mask measures work out? Were the protesters successful? What happened to the number of flu cases after people stopped wearing masks?
c. Was the course of the Spanish Flu pretty simple, or was it (as some have predicted about COVID), fairly up-and-down for quite a while after the initial outbreak?
d. Why did the Spanish Flu finally go away? (Or did it?) Did someone develop a vaccine for it, or why did it stop being a pandemic?
I'm looking forward to our discoveries!
Be sure to say WHAT your question is (be clear about what you're searching for), then tell us HOW you found it (what online news archive did you use), and what your ANSWER/DISCOVERY is.
And, as Jon points out in the comments, I'm really interested in what you find in the news archives of your country (or state, or province, or parish).
Forward... into the past!