I just wanted to send well wishes to everyone during this health crisis. These are certainly extraordinary times. As a nation, we are forced to slow down when we’re so used to going, going, going, moving, moving, moving. Some of us have rarely, if ever, slowed down and the concept is so strange that we don’t know what to do with ourselves. These days of isolation offer the perfect opportunity to clean and purge, meditate and nourish your body and spirit, keep in contact with people you love and adore, enjoy nature in your backyard, or read Appalachia Bare posts and articles. Better yet, write something and submit it to us! We don’t bite, I promise.
I’ve compiled some tidbits of information about the widely known 1918 influenza pandemic. I hope you find the material interesting and informative. You might recognize the measures taken to quell the spread of the virus.
- A few past sicknesses may have been influenza – an 1173 incident in Europe and a 1493 instance on Hispaniola Island. The first known flu epidemic occurred in Europe in 1510 without “missing a family and scarce a person.”1)Dobson, Mary. Disease: The Extraordinary Stories Behind History’s Deadliest Killers. New York: Metro Books, 2013. p.172
- Somewhere between fifty to one hundred million deaths occurred with the 1918 “Spanish Flu.” Estimates vary because records weren’t consistently kept. Incidentally, this flu was not named after Spain because it originated there, but because:
“The only attention it got came when it swept through Spain, and sickened the king; the press in Spain, which was not at war, wrote at length about the disease, unlike the censored press in warring countries, including the United States. Hence it became known as ‘Spanish flu.’”
- Children sang this cute but creepy rhyme (Of course, I say that, but I jumped rope to “Lizzie Borden”):
I had a little bird
And its name was Enza
I opened a window
And in-flu-enza.2)Dobson, Mary. Disease: The Extraordinary Stories Behind History’s Deadliest Killers. New York: Metro Books, 2013. p.172
- Scientists have been studying the 1918 flu epidemic for, well, more than a century. They exhumed victims who died from the disease and believe they found “the H1N1 sub-type of influenza A virus,” or, H5N1, or, by its more common name, “avian flu.”3)Dobson, Mary. Disease: The Extraordinary Stories Behind History’s Deadliest Killers. New York: Metro Books, 2013. p.183
In his report, Influenza: A Study of Measures Adopted for the Control of the Epidemic (1919), Wilfred H. Kellogg, M.D., published the following measures4)Kellogg, M.D., Wilfred H. “Influenza: A Study of Measures Adopted for the Control of the Epidemic.” Special Bulletin, 1919. p. 6to stop the spread of this horrible flu:
- Controlling Crowd Associations – “closing of schools, churches, theaters, moving picture shows, public dances . . . regulating the hours for opening and closing factories to prevent the crowding of street cars, and also the complete closing of stores, saloons and pool halls.”
- Educating the public about hygiene and cleanliness
- Quarantine, “including all measures, from mere isolation of cases to absolute quarantine of the entire family and the quarantining of towns, districts, etc.”
- Wearing masks
- Supplying hospitals and nursing facilities with what they need
- Bodily fluid control, in particular, phlegm.
I’ve compiled an extensive list from reputable sources about COVID-19/ Coronavirus. Please adhere to guidelines set by your doctor, the CDC, and your state. Take care of yourselves. I’m thinking about you all.
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/pregnant-women-and-children.html (For Pregnant women and children)
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html (with updates)
WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
American Medical Association
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Cable News Stations
BY STATES IN APPALACHIA – according to Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC)
https://www.marylandhealthconnection.gov/ (state health insurance/ enrollment deadline: April 15)
https://nystateofhealth.ny.gov/ (for state health insurance)
|↑1, ↑2||Dobson, Mary. Disease: The Extraordinary Stories Behind History’s Deadliest Killers. New York: Metro Books, 2013. p.172|
|↑3||Dobson, Mary. Disease: The Extraordinary Stories Behind History’s Deadliest Killers. New York: Metro Books, 2013. p.183|
|↑4||Kellogg, M.D., Wilfred H. “Influenza: A Study of Measures Adopted for the Control of the Epidemic.” Special Bulletin, 1919. p. 6|
Especially during this time of rumors and misinformation, your comprehensive compilation of reliable sources is a welcome post. To quote Mark Twain, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” It’s not like epidemiologists weren’t warning us of an impending pandemic, and now we are in the thick of it. So far, Buncombe county where I live in western North Carolina, has relatively few identified cases (and an unknown quantity of actual cases), but Mission Hospital, where my wife works as an RN, is gearing up for an exponential increase in Covid-19 cases. Meanwhile, the schools are closed and our daughter is taking on-line classes at home. Asheville’s economy, so dependent on tourists, is at a standstill, and thousands of hourly workers and self-employed are wondering how they will make ends meet until this contagion is over.
Thank you, Jim. We certainly are in the thick of it. I like how you differentiated between “identified” and “unknown quantity.” I think the unknown is one of the most frustrating parts of all this. I’m glad Mission Hospital is preparing for all this, but I do hope your wife doesn’t see many (or any) cases and that she is safe. I’m concerned about the economy as well. Tennessee’s (and the country’s, really) unemployment rate has sky-rocketed. I think we may be headed for even more uncertain times.
Thanks, Delonda. Of course I have heard of the 1918 infuenza but I did not realize it was a close relative to the coronavirus. Seems like we shouldn’t have to learn this lesson all over again. Also, I appreciate your careful and responsible research resulting in the extensive list of reputable sources about Covid-19. Thank you
I’m with you – we shouldn’t have to learn this lesson all over again. And it’s frightening how ill-prepared we are as a country. I felt the resources would be a good idea. Even if a person doesn’t live in a particular state, he or she can still see what (and how) other states are doing.