LESSONS FROM HISTORIC RESPONSE TO 1918-1919 FLU PANDEMIC CAN OFFER INSIGHTS FOR CANADIANS FACING COVID19 TODAY

TORONTO, March 31, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The lessons from Canada’s historic response to the 1918-1919 Spanish Flu pandemic offer important and timely insights for Canadians looking for ways to cope with the current COVID-19 outbreak and potential successor waves of infection.
Over the two decades following the end of the pandemic, Canadian medical researchers and the national government parlayed the country’s experiences confronting the flu into crucial vaccination and treatment discoveries, as well as forward-looking public health policies.“If we take a moment to really understand the history of what happened a century ago, we’ll be far better positioned to use those learnings to make the changes we need coming out of this crisis,” says Neil Orford, co-founder of Defining Moments Canada/Moments Déterminants Canada, a heritage education organization that produced a unique online commemoration site that documented the impact of the Spanish Flu on communities and individuals across Canada.While DMC’s Spanish flu project is generally accessible, it also offers teachers looking for online educational tools with digital lessons and curated research resources to assist students in understanding the context of the COVID-19 crisis.“We’ve taken a macro-Canadian story – the 1918-1919 pandemic – and refracted it through a micro-historical lens,” explains Orford, a retired teacher and winner of a Governor General’s Award for history education. “The content provides educators with content, modules and lesson plans on how to take a multi-disciplinary approach to teaching a global topic with both immediate and historical resonance.”Defining Moments Canada/Moments Déterminants Canada is the shared vision of Neil Orford and Blake Heathcote, creators of a new and innovative way to teach and commemorate Canada’s history using twenty-first century digital tools and storytelling skills. With partners including Veterans Affairs Canada and the University of Toronto, Defining Moments Canada/Moments Déterminants Canada has produced other national commemorations about the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the forthcoming centennial of the discovery of insulin.For more information, digital images or to set up an interview, please contact:

Neil Orford.
Program Leader, Defining Moments Canada
[email protected] | 519-217-0402

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