19 May 2020

Coronavirus: School children repeat steps from polio epidemic

From Morning Report, 8:27 am on 19 May 2020

As children return to school this week it may come as a surprise to learn their experience is remarkably similar to that of their forebears almost a hundred years ago.

New Zealand health authorities issued immunity passports, shut down schools nationwide and quarantined those with a new virus - polio - during epidemics in the early 1900s.

It was a similar story in later decades, when many schools shut down for weeks at a time to prevent polio outbreaks from spreading.

Amy Williams interviewed her grandmother to file this report.