Pandemic on the Prairie

Kara Heitz

A podcast about the intersection of public health, cultural history, and war in Kansas. School closures, mask mandates, infection waves, front line workers, debates over the disease’s origin, disparities in health care access, quarantine fatigue. All of these descriptions could easily apply to both current times and a century ago. In the midst of the current Covid-19 pandemic, many have started looking back to the last global health catastrophe of this magnitude - the 1918 influenza pandemic, also known as the “Spanish flu”. Approximately 50 million people globally, including 675,000 Americans and over 12,000 Kansans, died of this strain of influenza between 1918-1920. “Pandemic on the Prairie” tells the stories of Kansas and Kansans during this tumultuous time of both a World War and a global pandemic. Through learning about our past, we hope to better engage with the present. read less