The 1920s and the 2020s had one glaring thing in common.
A global pandemic.
The so-called “Spanish Flu” that raged across the world from 1918 through 1920 claimed the lives of 50 million people. One third of the world’s population was infected, and 3.3% of the world’s population died over the course of two years.
Social distancing is not unique to 2020. Social distancing measures were intermittently enforced and lifted over the course of the 1918 pandemic in the USA.
The decade following became known as the “Roaring 20s,” for the period of economic prosperity and party culture that arose during.
And one astute Twitter user has a theory.
Its has become very clear to me why the 1918 pandemic was followed by the roaring 20s & why people were dressing up to go just about anywhere
— Jenni (@JenniDigital) December 16, 2020
Most of us are familiar with the feeling of being stuck in our houses with no place to go for weeks or even months at a time.
This is a world we never could have fathomed before the pandemic. However, it is our daily reality now.
My husband tested positive yesterday and I tested positive today. I will not be able to spend Christmas with all of my family. I need the roaring 20s
— Andrea Legan (@andrealegan) December 17, 2020
I’m inspired. I say we start dressing up for the movies again, the way people dress up as if they’re going to a Broadway production OR based on the movie theme. A mix of both.
What else can we dress up for? The park? pic.twitter.com/xZWLBBBWrp
— Lena (@MsLenaKay) December 17, 2020
Soon as it’s safe to go outside, Old Sport. pic.twitter.com/URWI2Kcj2f
— World. Champion. Brand. Marketer. (@iamjoesargent) December 16, 2020
Literally was thinking about this the other day. Let’s just hope there’s no Great Depression. :/
— Leilani (@LeiMRob) December 16, 2020
i went to the store last week and i was just as excited as i used to get dressing up to go to a party. I saw 2 people 🙃 i can't wait for this to be over so i can be really extra and go outside a lot
— Papi (@RottenPapi) December 17, 2020
Though this has been a tumultuous year, it’s important to note the 1918 pandemic also coincided with what was then the deadliest conflict in human history—World War I.
The virus often raged through the trenches of the war, killing young soldiers already embroiled in a different horror.
I hope 1920s styles come back. I want to wear dresses like these on the regular. As soon as I shed some of the pandemic pounds! pic.twitter.com/KAatbTG3pG
— Lauren Cee 🇨🇦 (@Vintage_Jedi) December 17, 2020
I wore this to run errands 2 days ago. I decided to start the roarings 20’s myself 😭 pic.twitter.com/JQvddiUd2P
— Mami Wata (@itsmonkonjay) December 17, 2020
Its so true… I put on these shoes for a doctor’s appointment. What is even happening?!?! pic.twitter.com/pxenTPmwym
— snap, crackle & pop (@cregermiller) December 17, 2020
I wore this to the store at 8am. pic.twitter.com/xMwINieb59
— Heather Millican Doyle (@heathermdoyle) December 17, 2020
I believe it was a confluence of circumstances that included the pandemic backlash as well post – WW I relief and, in the U.S. , Prohibition.
— John Latimer (@JohnMLatimer) December 17, 2020
Somewhere around 675,000 Americans died as a result of H1N1, the virus that caused the 1918 flu.
The death toll of the current pandemic in the USA is creeping up to around half of that number, approximately one year in despite major advancements in treatment.
Cheers to that. (The world also had just finish a 4 year world war, the USA just showed up 3 years late, at least they showed up only 2 years late for the next one) pic.twitter.com/jj0PyMTtMS
— Mitch Breen 🇨🇦 (@breenm22) December 17, 2020
— hims (@wearehims) December 17, 2020
When the clubs open They better start playing this banger as I’ll pull out the maddest Charleston on the dancefloor pic.twitter.com/Qq9AWys8C0
— 🕊 (@Jmgblxnco) December 17, 2020
I'll be stepping out in my kilt and vest with my pocket watch when I go to a sit down restaurant after things get back to safe again. Look out, Waffle house, here I come!
— TheJaytheist (@TJaytheist) December 17, 2020
I wonder if designers will bring back the drop waist? I like that look. pic.twitter.com/WPiEtCXrpH
— Lisa Lamb🙏🏾🇺🇸😷💙 (@LisaLamb8493707) December 17, 2020
With two vaccines already rolling out in the United States, there is at long last a light at the end of this extremely dark tunnel.
2021 will present its own set of challenges, but perhaps another decade of roaring 20s are on the horizon.