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Plagues and Pestilence

Written by Jim Hinckley

January 19, 2021

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Before the advent of professional services to disinfect homes and offices such as those offered by Forceshield, plagues, pandemics, and pestilence raged through societies. These scourges were often unchecked until herd immunity developed. And they often changed the course of history.

Until the outbreak of COVID 19, one of the most devastating pandemics in modern history was the 1918 Spanish Flu. In addition to the massive death toll, this pandemic altered the course of the League of Nations, predecessor to the United Nations. It played a role in the ending of WWI. It was instrumental in the creation of modern medical education. And it forever altered American society.

Between 1918 and 1920 when the strength of the influenza virus was muted with development of herd immunity, an estimated 675,000 Americans had died. As with COVID 19, many of those infected suffered debilitating health issues for years to come. A Metropolitan Life Insurance study released several years later concluded that between the fall of 1918 and the spring of 1920, more than 3% of all industrial workers died from this strain of influenza virus or resultant complications.

Years after it had ended, the consensus was that the pandemic lasted about 15 months. But it remains as one of the deadliest disease outbreaks in modern history. An estimated 100 million people worldwide died from the influenza virus, secondary infections or complications. This was more than ten times the number of people killed by the bubonic plague killed in a century.

There is an old adage that history repeats itself. That has been made manifest in the COVID 19 pandemic. In 1918, in the beginning weeks of the pandemic, President Wilson, many doctors, and national health officials reassured the public by sayin that this was just the flu, an influenza and that there was nothing to fear.

No city closed in the spring of 1918 as the pandemic began to spread in a mild wave across the country. Medical journal articles at the time said that it looked to be a slightly stronger strain of influenza virus. Doctors told people to stay home, rest and drink fluids if they felt sick. People were told that in time the populace would build a natural immunity. Scientists were not in agreement about how influenza spread or even if the illness was viral in nature.

The pandemic seemed to be waning in the summer of that year, and then in the fall of 1918 it rolled across the country like a tsunami. And yet there were no general lockdowns. But as the infection rate and death toll climbed cities began closing theaters, saloons, restaurants, and even churches. Some began implementing mask mandates. And there were protests.

Unlike 1918, we have Forceshield as a line of defense in our homes, offices and churches. We have antibiotics and antibacterial medications to combat secondary infections. We have access to medical care that could not be imagined in 1918. And we have an international scientific community that was able to create a vaccine in record time.

Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America 

This story brought to you by Forceshield Fog of Kingman

 

 

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