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2020 forced most of us to adapt our communication style at work and at home — we practiced ‘smizing’ (smiling with your eyes) while wearing a mask, and we schooled ourselves on how to look our best on video calls. We also struggled with pandemic-related communication perils, including social isolation and outrage-driven headlines and political discourse.

So what does all of this mean for 2021…

Books about the 1918 influenza pandemic deliver déjà vu

It seems we’ve been here before.

In her 2017 book, Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How it Changed the World, journalist Laura Spinney highlights the global experience of the pandemic, which killed between 50 and 100 million people in mere months. Spinney shares poignant perspectives of the pandemic experience in Alaska, Brazil, India, Persia, Spain, South Africa, and the port city of Odessa in Ukraine. Then, as now, regional conflicts, religious ideology, unproven treatments, and political dissent complicated and undermined public health efforts.

Spinney’s exploration of 1918 American news coverage underscores the disproportionate mortality and impact to…

Janna Stam

Podcaster, communications professional, and occasional napper. Semicolon and Oxford comma enthusiast. Podcast available @ https://podcast.jannastam.com/

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