Updated: Oct 18
The Spanish flu pandemic that began in 1918 infecting more than 500 million people worldwide over a two-year period. It is estimated that between 20 to 50 million people were killed by the virus. About 670,000 of those deaths were Americans.
A reason for so many deaths was the lack of quarantine measures put into place. Public health officials were considered to be partial to responsible for the rapid spread of the virus and high death rates because of their unwillingness to impose quarantines. Evaluations of historical actions of towns and cities during the Spanish flu Pandemic showed that the establishment of early and well-organized responses to quarantine and isolation measures were key to the reduction of the virus spreading.
Those people who feel that the government officials are overreacting by the closures and mandated quarantine that is currently taking place should read up about how the Spanish Flu Pandemic affected our ancestors.
For anyone looking for some great books to read about the Spanish Flu, I recommend
· America’s Forgotten Pandemic: The Influenza of 1918 by Alfred W. Crosby
· The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History by John m. Barry
· Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How It Changed The World by Laura Spinney
You can also find some articles and videos on YouTube, pbs.org and googling “Spanish Flu Epidemic in America.” The key to understanding some of the actions taking place right now during this Coronavirus Pandemic can gain a better understanding of what is happening by knowing what has taken place in history that has taught us how to react now.