Maybe you need a break from 2020, so let’s take a brief trip to 1918.

The year is a hectic one — there is World War I and a pandemic raging.

America rides out the first wave of the pandemic before a second hits, which proves to be the most deadly wave for the world, especially here in Onondaga County.

“Here in Syracuse, what really made us one of the epicenters in the northeast was the fact that camp Syracuse had changed over to recruit camp and very early in September, troops shipped in from Boston and basically brought the influenza with them," said Robert Searing of the Onondaga Historical Association.

Established in 1917, Camp Syracuse was a military mobilization camp on the fairgrounds.

By the second week of September, hundreds of soldiers in the camp were infected.

On September 28, the entire camp was quarantined, but soldiers were being brought to city-area hospitals on public street cars.

“The high point really seems to be in that first week of October. Mayor Stone shuts down all public gatherings — churches and schools. That goes on for three weeks,” said Searing.

In a matter of six weeks, 8,000 to 9,000 cases are recorded in the county, with about 1,000 deaths in the county overall.

Though there were many closures, the city never fully closed as factory workers continued to take public transit to work.

By the first week of November, things appeared to go back to normal.

Unlike us today, people soon began to fill public spaces once theaters and dancehalls reopened.

Despite so many getting back to normal, cases never reached such an extreme peak.

The 1918 Flu seemed to shape future data collection efforts and collaboration between public health and government.

“We were really struggling with data. It was mandatory for doctors to report cases,” said Searing.

Back to 2020, where COVID-19 hasn’t proven to be nearly as deadly as the 1918 pandemic.

And from all that was learned from more than 100 years ago, experts are trying to keep it that way.

Correction: An earlier version of the story misstated the number of deaths in Onondaga County during the 1918 pandemic. There were about 1,000 deaths with between 8,000 and 9,000 cases. (February 11, 2021)