The irony of the second wave of COVID-19 in the United States is not lost in history. The title of this post “Epidemic Brings Big Money Loss” was one from over 100 years ago. Sometimes, studying history a little more closely can help prevent us from repeating it. I understand that this country’s major public health programs were developed to better protect the masses in times like these: Johns Hopkins, Harvard, UNC, UW(ashington), Pitt, Minnesota, Michigan, Columbia, UC Berkeley, Boston, UCLA. Right now the best COVID-19 dashboard is from Johns Hopkins.
The best summary of the 1918 Pandemic is at Michigan.
Why? Ask our friends at the University of Michigan. I learned of their public health programs back during my wellness days. They acknowledged that sitting was as dangerous as smoking.
1918 takeaways- we were in WWI and the troop movements precipitated the virus moving around the globe. Since the the actual virus took another 15 years to sequence and news outlets were not openly posting data due to war concerns it is really uncertain where the flu started. It may have been the American virus since it first appeared in army camps. Since our national priority was WWI there was really no national response. Local health authorities and sometimes the states took the lead in setting public health measures. Oh yes everybody was concerned about the economic issues by closing down everything including schools and churches.
In this post, were going to look at a few key cities to see what happened when our elected leaders of the time put normal life ahead of public health.
The scary part is even with TV, email, smartphones and social media, the US is following a similar path to 1918 especially during this part of the year.