For churchgoers during the Covid-19 pandemic, a deadly lesson from the 1918 flu

San Francisco: The congregation of the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption praying on the steps, where they gathered to hear mass and pray during the influenza pandemic of 1918.

(CNN)To gather or not to gather has been the question at the forefront of the minds of today's religious leaders and their church members.

During the 1918 influenza pandemic that ultimately killed 50 million to 100 million people, different answers to that same question resulted in either collective well-being or widespread, devastating loss.
During the 1918 influenza pandemic, religious institutions worldwide closed their doors to save lives.