2nd Wave of Spanish Flu Epidemic Cripples CT in Oct.1918
It seems inevitable that the second wave of coronavirus is coming at us like an out of control landslide. According to a New York Times article, in October of 1918, the second wave of the Spanish Flu hit hard, claiming nearly 200,000 lives in only one month, and that's just in the United States. The cause for the second wave was a rare mutation that made the virus even more deadly.
During the 1918 Spanish Flu Epidemic, 600,000 Americans lost their lives, 8,500 were from Connecticut. On Saturday morning, October 17, 2020, over 39 million individuals worldwide have been infected by the coronavirus, and the death toll has risen to 1,103,900. So why is it we can't learn from what happened in 1918-1919?
According to todayinhistory.com, the first outbreak of the Spanish Flu Epidemic began mildly until October of 2018, when it became much more contagious. The death toll accelerated so quickly that Waterbury reported a coffin shortage.
Hartford alderman, J. Humphrey Greene, became so angry that the city's health officials were not acting promptly with an action plan for the city that he convened with the board of Alderman to come up with their own plan, which suggested drastic measures:
The board of Alderman of the city of Hartford do hereby suggest the board of health commissioners of said city to or order the closing of all theatres, schools, and other places of public gathering until such time as, in their judgement, all danger of the spread of such disease be passed.
Because of the board of Alderman's actions, public institutions were shut down, limiting factory and business hours. Public spitting was banned, yes, spitting as in 'hawking a loogie', and fines were instituted for citizens who rejected masks' mandatory use.
As the predicted second wave of coronavirus is brewing, our country remains divided on how to react to the threat of our next battle with the pandemic. Personally, with my 70th birthday just around the corner, my wife, Mindy, and I will be hunkering down with our masks, hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies, and Netflix. After 44 years of marriage, it's a damn good thing we're still friends in love.