Does History Repeat

The question of history repeating no doubt has been asked thousands of times throughout time, we as humans see patterns and correlations in many things and can’t help but connect them. The statement has been used so much it has almost lost all meaning, as we start to use it to blur details and as an excuse to find these correlations we desperately want to see, one can only wonder if it still can be relevant. However, one cannot ignore the situation we are in right now, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic we begin to see a strange connection to it and the flu pandemic of 1918–1920. There are many strange correlations such as the time period, both pandemics take place relatively in the same decade of a new century, almost exactly 100 years apart. One can also note that even the symptoms are similar, both involve spreading through contact and transmit very quickly from person to person. Other eerily similar traits include the preventative measures used to stop its spread. Both limited public facilities, both used quarantine, and both encouraged the use of masks. To further find similarities both pandemics gave rise to a resisitance toward masks and their use. Again not everything lines up perfectly, such as in the flu pandemic of 1918 world war one was taking place, something COVID-19 does not have. Other dissimilarities could include origin, it was estimated that the flu pandemic of 1918 started in the United States or France where COVID-19 started in China. But can we use the term history has repeated itself? Taken literally, no. There are too many variations in these events, granted there are similarities but not enough to use the term in a literal sense. By these definitions history could never repeat itself, there will never be two events exactly the same. However, by using this term as more of a symbol for a greater meaning we can see that it does apply. If we say history repeats itself it is not meant as a literal copy of history repeating, but rather it is just used as a statement to say that things are progressing similarly to the past only because we did not learn from our mistakes. History cannot simply repeat but similar events can show correlations based on similar choices, such as through the use of masks and quarantine we found that pandemics slow in progression so we implement that same choice and apply it to the modern-day. Similarly, mistakes can also show “history repeating”, if we chose to make the same mistakes as the past they will likely have the same consiquences as before creating the illusion that history repeats. Such as groups of anti-maskers refusal to adhere to the rules will only increase the spread of a pandemic, as seen in both cases now and in the past. So in a way history does repeat, not exactly literally but through the choices we make in these situations, and history repeating is not always a bad thing. By repeating good choices and not repeating from bad ones but rather learning from them we can prevent this bubble of history repeating.