The Spanish Flu
After over two hundred fifty original and different stories. I've had so many requests to repeat one on the forgotten pandemic the Spanish flu. I decided to repeat that podcast. Now I am reading this with a few changes involved. It was. The Spanish. Flu was an unusually deadly pandemic involving the h. One and one influenza virus in infected five hundred million people around the world or about twenty seven percent of the world population which was around one point nine billion at the time this is nineteen eighteen over fifty million people died yet it was overshadowed by the end of World War One the war to end all wars the creation of the armistice. The Spanish flu was so forgotten. That encyclopedia Britannica didn't include it. In its review of the most eventful events of the Twentieth Century World War One ended in November of Nineteen. Eighteen in this faddish Lou peaked just a month later in early. January nineteen eighteen which means that the flu was going on during World War. One more people died from the Spanish flu than died from bullets in World War. One think about that more people died in the Spanish flu than the war basically. That's it. The economic impact of the United States came in at about one hundred and sixty six point. Five billion dollars now remember. This was nineteen eighteen that would be nearly a trillion dollars in today's dollars areas of the. Us were hit hard. In the winter of one thousand nine hundred eighteen coal deliveries were so affected that many people in New England all along the East Coast couldn't keep their homes warm and they froze to death that winter thousands of businesses across the country were closed. Not for a lack of staff so much as those that were out sick with the flu. It was said that an individual a healthy adult could come in with symptoms of flu. Spanish flu in the morning. Be Sick throughout the day and the following morning he or she would be dead in September of Nineteen Eighteen Philadelphia. Held its liberty loan parade to raise money for war bonds. The patriotic procession consisted of soldiers. Boy Scouts marching bands and local dignitaries and stretch for two miles over two hundred thousand spectators packed the sidewalks seventy two hours after the parade all thirty one hospitals Philadelphia were full and twenty. Six hundred people died with by the end of that week. The Public Health Response. Saint Louis couldn't have been more different. This is something we need to pay attention to today. Even before the first case of Spanish flu have been reported in the city health commissioners looking at other cities and states and the commissioner Dr Max Stark off had local physicians on high alert and Rodent aditorial on the Saint. Louis Post dispatch about the importance of voiding crowds in San Francisco. Health officials put their full faith behind gauze masks and isolation California governor. William Stevens declared that it was a patriotic duty of every American citizen to wear a mask and stay in quarantine. San Francisco eventually made it law citizens cotton public without a massacre worried. Improperly were arrested charged with disturbing the peace and fine five dollars but the Spanish flu circle the Earth. Three times and San Francisco's luck ran out when the third wave of the Spanish flu struck in January. Nineteen nineteen believing mass. Were the main reason that they done so well. With the first wave of the Spanish flu they felt is what saved them. Businesses and theaters. This is during the third wave fought back against public idea that you couldn't gather in public as a result. San Francisco ended up suffering some of the highest death rates from the Spanish flu. Nationwide that proves the isolation. A quarantine makes a difference. The two thousand seven analysis found that if San Francisco had kept all of its anti-flu protections in place. That would be quarantined. Through the spring of Nineteen nineteen could have reduced deaths by ninety percent the immediate economic consequences of nineteen eighteen down from the panic surrounding the spread of the flu. Large cities including New York and Philadelphia were essentially temporarily shut down as their populations became bedridden as it is now in Italy. A lot of lessons to be learned here. Businesses were closed in both cities. Sporting events cancelled private gatherings council including funerals band so that they could spread the disease. So what's the takeaway aside from a history lesson a Lotta takeaways the lesson from nineteen eighteen or many but there are three that standout I the public health response to the spread of the disease must focus on containment? The reason why the nineteen eighteen pandemic resulted in so many death was as so many people caught the disease so fast in the first place and that was before containment that was before quarantined. That was when people were wondering what's going on. This isn't a regular flu season. They were exposed. Because policymakers failed to stop the spread. Indeed there in actions helped spread the flu more widely communicable disease control policy works researchers found that US cities which implemented efforts to reduce infectious contact between people early in nineteen. Eighty outbreak had significantly lower peak death rates than cities that were later to adopt disease containment policies. The second lesson is a good information is Akitas to disease control. We cannot afford a media blackout or worse. An Act of disinformation campaign and we can already see that terrible consequences of such policies in Iran and China. The truth always comes out eventually. There is nothing to be gained from hiding it. Indeed government stand to lose if censorship leads to social unrest political. Scientists are speculating on the long term. Political impact of media manipulation of the corona virus news from China and remember there are three classic stressors that create fear that is something that is unpredictable uncontrollable and sustained and from those three. Stressors comes fear. Communication gets rid of those stressors. The third lesson is that we must prepare for the economic and human consequences of the virus enact to minimize its impact. This pandemic is both a shock to demand and supply justice. So disease is highly contagious. So too is the economic crisis in causes the Labor lost from implementing the recommended fourteen days of self-isolation for suspected cases alone will have serious economic him implications no doubt closing down entire regions or countries are as recently enacted. Italy will no doubt cause a recession? Nusa fiscal policy measures must now also come into play individuals and low-paid precarious employment to serve targeted attention. As much as anyone else where medical care and sick. Leave our costly. This can force people to go to work. Even if they're still carrying the virus justice in one thousand nine hundred eighteen people are polluted. Urban areas are likely to be particularly at risk. These populations that are already more susceptible to respiratory illness due to environmental factors. This would be like are homeless cities special measures help. These groups must be considered.