105 years ago, this month. The first case of Influenzas cases is recorded.

U.S. Naval Hospital. Corpsmen in cap and gown ready to attend patients in influenza ward. Mare Island, California, 12/10/1918. (U.S. Navy)

On this day the first cases of the Influenza Virus popped up at Fort Riley. What was initially perceived as something small would blow up into a major medical pandemic.

The Virus had its start in the military barracks and prisons. It would spread throughout the country and eventually into Europe, and Asia. The Primary spreader for Europe was infected troops who were deploying during the battles of World War I.

It would kill 675,000 Americans, and between 20-50 Million people worldwide. It was originally called the “Spanish Flu” because it was perceived that it was the epicenter of the where the Virus was thriving.

For the first time in history, social distancing methods were applied to attempt to slow or stop the spread.

Masks were a requirement, also city ordinances were applied to ensure enforcement. Kinda interesting looking at this and seeing how a 100 years later during COVID that it was a perception that our “civil rights” were going away. It really shows how the older generations with their blatant flaws still understood the concept of public safety and some compassion/courtesy for their fellow citizens. It’s also sad that most Americans had no idea that we had been through this before and there much rioting and protest about it.

While the virus would eventually mutate and weaken after each wave. The last being in 1920. It did show that society was willing to do what was needed to ensure that they would make it through this crisis, even if it meant inconveniencing their lifestyles for the sake of health.

Examples above of city ordinances for mask mandates.

I did a lot of reading about this when Covid hit and was intrigued as to how history could almost repeat itself to the letter. It’s impressive how they were able to cope considering the lifestyles, medical, and technological disadvantages at the time. Yet they seem to be able to handle it much better than we did to some extent. That’s my opinion though and I could be wrong.

Below I posted some links if you would like to learn a little more about this.

LA Time’s article from October 1918






Published by My life so far

Retired from the Air Force 3 years ago after a successful 20 year career. Have been enjoying this new adventure I am on

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