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Four pandemics: lessons learned, lessons lost

  • Joseph V. Pergolizzi1
  • Jo Ann LeQuang1
  • Robert Taylor1
  • Charles Wollmuth1
  • Meghan Nalamachu1
  • Giustino Varrassi2
  • Paul Christo3
  • Franklin Breve1,4
  • Peter Magnusson5,6

1NEMA Research, Inc., Naples, Florida, United States of America

2Paolo Procacci Foundation, via Tacito 7, 00193 Rome, Italy

3Associate Professor, Division of Pain Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America

4Temple University School of Pharmacy, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America

5Cardiology Research Unit, Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, SE-171 76, Sweden

6Centre for Research and Development, Uppsala University/Region Gävleborg, Gävle, SE-801 87, Sweden

DOI: 10.22514/sv.2020.16.0096 Vol.17,Issue 1,January 2021 pp.1-5

Published: 08 January 2021

*Corresponding Author(s): Giustino Varrassi E-mail:


In the past 100 years, the world has faced four distinctly different pandemics: the Spanish flu of 1918-1919, the SARS pandemic of 2003, the H1N1 or “swine flu” pandemic of 2012, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Each public health crisis exposed specific systemic shortfalls and provided public health lessons for future events. The Spanish flu revealed a nursing shortage and led to a great appreciation of nursing as a profession. SARS showed the importance of having frontline clinicians be able to work with regulators and those producing guidelines. H1N1 raised questions about the nature of a global organization such as the World Health Organization in terms of the benefits and potential disadvantages of leading the fight against a long-term global public health threat. In the era of COVID-19, it seems apparent that we are learning about both the blessing and curse of social media.


Coronavirus; COVID-19 pandemic; Pandemics

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Joseph V. Pergolizzi,Jo Ann LeQuang,Robert Taylor,Charles Wollmuth,Meghan Nalamachu,Giustino Varrassi,Paul Christo,Franklin Breve,Peter Magnusson. Four pandemics: lessons learned, lessons lost. Signa Vitae. 2021. 17(1);1-5.


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