The 1918 Pandemic, dubbed ‘the Spanish Flu’ despite originating in Kansas, USA (Spain reported it wider than other countries who restricted reporting of the pandemic), had a second deadlier wave – overall the pandemic killed more people than the First World War could, with an estimated 20-50 Million people perishing due to the virus.
When the first wave spread when US troops arrived in Europe, spreading across England, France, Spain and Italy, symptoms were mild, and despite the death rate being somewhat higher than the seasonal flu, most symptoms went away in three days.
The pandemic back then also took pace in March/April, much like the current pandemic we are experiencing. Dave Roos wrote in history.com that:
“Reported cases of Spanish flu dropped off over the summer of 1918, and there was hope at the beginning of August that the virus had run its course. In retrospect, it was only the calm before the storm. Somewhere in Europe, a mutated strain of the Spanish flu virus had emerged that had the power to kill a perfectly healthy young man or woman within 24 hours of showing the first signs of infection.”
The second wave came, and killed not only the old, but people in their prime, people aged 25-35 years old.
David Roos continued:
“From September through November of 1918, the death rate from the Spanish flu skyrocketed. In the United States alone, 195,000 Americans died from the Spanish flu in just the month of October. And unlike a normal seasonal flu, which mostly claims victims among the very young and very old, the second wave of the Spanish flu exhibited what’s called a “W curve”—high numbers of deaths among the young and old, but also a huge spike in the middle composed of otherwise healthy 25- to 35-year-olds in the prime of their life…. British military doctors conducting autopsies on soldiers killed by this second wave of the Spanish flu described the heavy damage to the lungs as akin to the effects of chemical warfare.”
“[James] Harris believes that the rapid spread of Spanish flu in the fall of 1918 was at least partially to blame on public health officials unwilling to impose quarantines during wartime. In Britain, for example, a government official named Arthur Newsholme knew full well that a strict civilian lockdown was the best way to fight the spread of the highly contagious disease. But he wouldn’t risk crippling the war effort by keeping munitions factory workers and other civilians home.”
Many people may feel frustrated, may want to enjoy the sun and hang out with friends – but this is FAR from over, it might just have begun. We must be patient, we must tell those who ignore government advice to take this far more seriously. We are ALL at risk.
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