Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version



Scharmann, L.C. (2021). Evolutionary theory: Coping with a Pandemic. The Innovation Platform, 5, 158-159.


Early in 2020, nations across the globe were warned about the potential for a pandemic arising from a novel virus that originated in Wuhan, China. The virus began an inevitable steady march of infection locally, regionally, nationally, and eventually internationally. Questions posed by infectious disease specialists were:

• Is the infectious disease one that is already known? Answer: no.

• Does the infectious disease (at the very least) closely resemble other known diseases? Answer – other than the virus possessing a distinguishing corona or halo when viewed under electron microscopy – no.

Thus, other than identifying the morphological shape of the virus, it was identified as novel. Lacking existing known strategies to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, infectious disease specialists recommended immediate ‘shelter in place’ shutdowns. The purpose of the shutdowns was to minimize disease spread and (of equal importance) to gain valuable time to further examine the structure and characteristics of COVID-19 that could result in greater specificity concerning those mitigation strategies that would have the most efficacious effects in slowing the spread of the disease.

In this essay, I examine COVID-19 in relation to the Spanish Flu when it also was a novel virus over 100 years prior.