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Please don’t take my word for this and do your own research. Always fact check the fact checkers.

History has recorded many plagues, epidemics and pandemics, some as far back as 430 BC. The Bombay Plague (1896) arrived by ship in the September 1896 in what is now known as Mumbai, India. A microbiologist, Waldemar Haffkine, created a vaccine for the Bombay Plague. He did not have a laboratory or 21st century resources but by January 1897 he had created an effective vaccine.

The 1918 influenza pandemic infected approximately 500 million people worldwide and killed 1 to 2% of the world’s population. In all instances the first reaction by the authorities was to downplay the seriousness of the disease. When the authorities accepted the inevitable, there were lockdowns, travel restrictions, mandated mask-wearing and other health measures. Schools and churches were closed.

Preventative cures were creative if not logical. 1918: if a person drank hot chocolate 3 times a day, they were less likely to get the “Spanish Flu” as it was known (except by the Spanish).

Conspiracy theories are not new either. Aspirin, particularly Bayer aspirin, was the cause as it was made by a German company. A CNN report in October 2020 covered a piece about President Woodrow Wilson who got influenza. but it was covered up so as to not create panic.

It is worth noting that although the 1918 pandemic changed a great many lives forever, eventually people stopped wearing masks and life returned to normal.

If it is 100 years before we go through another pandemic no one will remember this one. Downplaying by the authorities, defying rules, conspiracy theories and unproven preventative cures will return. Believe as you wish, but this is your time. Be responsible and considerate. Social distancing, isolation if infected, mask wearing and hand washing are not new concepts.

Tahseen Paulson

Klamath Falls