I am continuing the story regarding the 1918 Spanish Flu in Duncan, Oklahoma which is where most of my family has been residing since the early 1900's. I was comparing the 1918 epidemic with today's COVID-19 epidemic. I was surprised at the similarities in how they were treated, how quarantines were implemented, how long the epidemic lasted and how cooperative the community was in doing what was necessary to eliminate it.
The 1918 Flu lasted from the spring of 1918 - 1919 and and was first identified in the United States in military personnel. World War I was raging at the time. The Flu was estimated to kill 500 million people worldwide with about 675,000 people in the United States dying. The Flu was a strain of the H1N1 virus with no known vaccine or antibiotics to treat the Flu, only treatments were isolation, quarantine, good personal hygiene, use of disinfectants, and limitations of public gatherings, which were applied unevenly.
The newspaper articles included here show how the people of Duncan and the surrounding community reacted to the Flu. I was surprised that 100 years later we are using the same tactics used but the people of 1918 seemed to have a better reaction to the quarantines and other methods used than we have today. I did not see where masks were used anywhere, but when schools, businesses, and churches were closed, there were no protests over it, it was not politicized or ignored. The quarantines only lasted for several weeks at a time, but it didn't take long before they had to be re-instated.
We are still in the midst of the COVID-19 epidemic so it is not known how long we will be "under seize" but it is estimated to be until 2021 sometime. The death toll is only expected to rise. How will COVID-19 end for us?
The following newspaper articles are from the week after the ones in the prior blogpost and end in January 1919. They are very interesting reading, maybe you'll recognize some of the names.
December 18, 1;918
Friday, October 25, 1918
November 1, 1918
November 8, 1918
November 15, 1918
November 22, 1918
December 6, 1918
December 13, 1918
December 20, 1918
January 3, 1918
January 10, 1918
January 17, 1918
My name is Vicky, and after researching my family history since 1999, I have found amazing stories that need to be told. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!