Photos on the border of NSW and Victoria show the fight against the Spanish flu in 1919 and COVID-19 today
Two photos taken more than 100 years apart show the boundary between NSW and Victoria during the fight against the Spanish flu in 1919 and the corona virus in 2020.
The NSW police force shared the two photos Thursday evening, which showed the same border checkpoint near the NSW city of Delegate, 101 years apart.
Both are members of the NSW Police and ADF. When times get tough, we come together to protect you, ”the caption said.
NSW recently closed its border with Victoria as the state is experiencing its second wave of COVID-19 infections with 2,128 active cases.
This is the first time NSW has closed borders for Victoria since January 1919 when it was closed to stop the spread of Spanish flu.
Two men L. Eggert and M. Evans at a border checkpoint near Delegate, which was designed to prevent Victorians from entering NSW during the Spanish flu pandemic in 1919
Eight ADF members and four NSW police officers are manning the same border checkpoint near Delegate in 2020, this time to prevent Victorians wearing COVID-19 from entering NSW
The photo from 1919 shows two tents with a uniformed man named L. Eggert and a suitable man named M. Evans standing and sitting in front of them.
Signs show it was taken on the Bonang Highway on the NSW side of the border, 14 kilometers from Delegate, which is spelled ‘Delegete’ instead.
The different spelling is probably a holdover from the 19th century, when the now nonexistent NSW Department of Lands spelled the city as ‘Delegete’ rather than Delegate.
Meanwhile, the border blockade in the 2020 photo is highlighted by traffic cones, 8 ADF members, and four NSW police officers.
Today’s border guards are given modern luxuries that didn’t exist in 1919, such as industrial lighting, two portable toilets, four cars, and a police van for food and shelter.
Many of the officers and soldiers are dressed in wet weather gear on what looks like a cold and rainy day at the border.
A doctor vaccinates a man in a special depot at Hyde Park in Sydney at the peak of the 1919 pandemic. Vaccination centers have appeared across the country, as have COVID testing clinics today
A medical officer talks to people who are lining up to be tested for coronavirus in a special COVID screening clinic in Melbourne on Thursday, July 16
Dr. Peter Hobbins, a leading expert in the history of Spanish flu in Australia, said “there are some striking parallels between 2020 and 1919.”
“During both pandemics, Australians were asked to give up their normal lives to control the effects of the disease,” Dr. Hobbins at the University of Sydney.
“Since there was no vaccine and no cure, we had to rely on quarantine, supportive medical care and the goodwill of the community.
“Then, as now, those measures had a drastic impact on people’s jobs, family life, worship and entertainment.”
In 1919, between a quarter and a third of all Australians got a contract pneumonic influenza, better known with the Spanish flu.
Up to 15,000 Australians died of the disease in 1919, equivalent to the number of Australian soldiers killed on the battlefield every year during the First World War
Since World War I had just ended the year before, the pandemic was another blow to a country that was already struggling.
People arrive at the quarantine camp in Wallangarra during the flu pandemic of 1919. The camp consists of tents and corrugated iron buildings surrounded by bushland
A bus is waiting to pick up guests who were quarantined at the Swissotel in Sydney on April 8. They were the first group of Australians to be quarantined at a Sydney hotel to limit the spread of the coronavirus
Australia has been fighting the COVID-19 pandemic since the first case arrived in January 2020.
The total number of cases in Australia is now 10,810 with 2,654 active cases and 8,036 recovered people. The total national death toll is 116.
Victoria registered 317 new cases on Thursday alone, which is the largest daily increase in Australia since the pandemic started.
The state is currently in a phase three blockade, but Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said it is “much too early” to move into a new phase of restrictions while those at home are underway.
Victorians may only leave their homes to work or study, run errands, exercise, and provide or receive care.
Women wear surgical masks during the flu pandemic in Brisbane in 1919. Wearing face masks became a habit of stopping the spread of the flu
A woman wears a face mask on her way to work in Melbourne on Thursday, July 16. People are allowed to leave the house for work, exercise, shopping, and to give or receive care