If you’re still downplaying the Corona crisis, Downton Abbey has a hidden warning for you. Let’s revisit the British drama and suit-up to beat COVID-19.
- Today’s Corona crisis is Déjà vu for Downton abbey
- How correct was the depiction of Spanish Influenza in Downton Abbey
- Spanish flu on Downton Abbey: Lessons to learn
It is strange that something that killed more than 50 million people is so easily forgotten. But Downton Abbey did not downplay Spanish Influenza of 1918, an epidemic that took multitudes of people under its grip.
Today’s Corona crisis is Déjà vu for Downton abbey
Downton Abbey, a British historic drama set in the fictional Yorkshire country estate of Downton Abbey covers events from 1912 and 1926 depicting the lives of aristocratic Crawley family and their domestic servants in the post Edwardian era. Covering most of the historic events of those times, Downton Abbey series 2 or season 2 depicted wrath of Spanish Influenza of 1918 and its impact on the society and Crawleys.
The world at that time was reeling under the crisis of World War 1 when the epidemic caused havoc. The Crawleys got sick, and many people died just like the times of today. Revisiting the series today, Downtn Abbey series 2 or season 2 seems like Déjà vu. Spanish Influenza is considered history’s most virulent and deadly flu pandemics.
But seeing the current situation, Coronavirus pandemic will replace Spanish Influenza as the deadliest pandemic. Some people are taking this crisis lightly. For them and for others, it is essential to revisit Downton Abbey season 2 to feel the intensity of the current situation and become cautious.
How correct was the depiction of Spanish Influenza in Downton Abbey
First of all, the whole timing of influenza is questioned. The first wave arrived in the spring of 1918; the second (and most deadly), in the fall of 1918; and the third, in the early spring of 1919. It seems like the writers of Downton Abbey brought the illness to Crawleys during third wave to mix it with World War 1 crisis.
The fact that Spanish Influenza only took one member under its grip in Crawley’s family is weird. The virus strain was particularly contagious and was considered deadly among young adults.
The surprising speed of approaching death is also questioned. Lavinia Swire, who is infected with Spanish Influenza is in one moment sitting on bed and taking with her fiancé and other moment she is dead. The influenza took several days to kill a person in most cases though there were cases where a patient died within 24 hours.
Like folks of today, Downton Abbey folks also seems unconcerned with the intensity of the pandemic. In reality, according to historians, doctors were scared to treat due to the fear of infection. The situation seems similar to what the globe is facing now. We should cheer for the medical staff and other essentials providers who are working day and night even though they themselves have the fear of getting infected with Covid-19 or Coronavirus.
Spanish flu on Downton Abbey: Lessons to learn
Even though the series did not accurately depict the facts of the crisis and in most ways they were shown to be not so fearful of the pandemic but we can watch it for seeing the wrath, an uncontrolled infectious disease can cause. Downton Abbey series 2 did downplay the intensity of crisis. One can imagine how appalling the real situation would have been in those days. The playing down of how widespread and devastating the Spanish Influenza may contribute to complacency.
If we misunderstand what happened in 1918, we are likely to not take any pandemic seriously. Generally the world of motion art ignored one of the most important event of modern history, Downton Abbey did show it but in a cleaned up manner.
Reeling under the Corona crisis, you can revisit Downton Abbey series 2 to get a feel of Déjà vu but don’t assume the pandemic depiction as wholly correct. What is shown in there is just 1 percent of what the actual situation was. Watch Downton Abbey season 2 or series 2 that covers Spanish Influenza but don’t forget to multiply the intensity of the pandemic crisis in your mind.
What do you think about the depiction of Spanish Influenza in Downton Abbey? Write to us in the comments section below.