What Can We Learn From the 1918 Pandemic?




This article is about the 1918 flu and the mythology that circumvents it. It is about mask mandates, aspirin overdoses as a possible cause of death, and mesmerizing historical parallels.

When it comes to history, we are dependent on the “expert opinion.” History is usually written by the winners and determined in real time to match the narrative that helps the winners sell their current point of view — and that is the reason why it is so fascinating to discover information and postulates that go against the grain, such as the hypothesis about aspirin poison killing potentially a great number of beings during the 1918 pandemic.

The History of the 1918 Pandemic

The influenza pandemic of 1918 and 1919 is considered to be “the most deadly flu outbreak in history.” It is estimated that the Spanish flu pandemic killed 20 to 50 million people worldwide, including around 675,000 Americans( that’s according to the CDC; historical data is restriction ). The Census Bureau estimates that in 1918, the US population was just above 103 million people.

According to history.com, “The firstly recorded infection was in a U.S. Army private stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas on March 4, 1918. Although the United States and the other nations at war initially squelched bulletin of the flu … there was a sense that following these new health prudences was patriotic.”

In America, local authorities went out various measures designed to stop the spread of the influenza. The bars differed region by sphere and included “closing schools and sits of public delight, enforcing no-spitting ordinances, encouraging people to use hankies or expendable tissues and requiring beings to wear masks in public.” In a number of American municipalities, mask-wearing rules were the centerpiece of the pandemic response.

Masks During the 1918 Pandemic

“As one Red Cross PSA made it, ‘the man or maid or child who will not wear a mask now is a dangerous slacker.’ This sense of wartime office — and the fear of being seen as a ‘slacker’ — is likely to be caused those who complied with mask orders in metropolis like San Francisco, Seattle, Denver and Phoenix.

Yet even though compliance was high, some deplored that the disguises were uncomfortable, inefficient or bad for business. Officials were caught in public without cover-ups. And after the fight purposed, and there was no longer a sense that people should wear masks to keep the troops safe, some protesters even constituted an ‘Anti-Mask League’ in San Francisco.”

During the 1918 pandemic, mask-wearing rules were mainly issued on the west coast. Reportedly, most people complied at a rate of 4 out of 5 parties. Public officials “framed anti-flu measures as a direction to protect the troops from the deadly outbreak.” At the time, disguises were made of gauze, and some people wore “fashion” masks that were even more porous.

Some people poked openings in their masks for cigarettes. The governments were pretty lax as far as what kind of mask people wore as long as there was something on their face. Those who broke the ordinances altogether were punished dangerously, at least this is what the reports are saying today.

“Cities that guided disguising guides in the fall of 1918 struggled to enforce them among the small portion of people who rebelled. Common penalties were penalizes, prison sentences and having your honour printed in the paper. In one horrific incident in San Francisco[ described in the Atlantic article from March 19, 2020] a special man for the board of health shot a humanity who refused to wear a mask as well as two bystanders.”

“This was far different from the medication San Francisco’s presidents received when they didn’t comply.

At a boxing match, a police photographer captivated likeness of several boss, a congressman, a justice, a Navy rear-admiral, the city’s health officer and even the mayor, all without disguises. The health officer paid a$ 5 fine and the mayor later compensate a $50 punishment, but unlike other ‘mask slackers’ they received no prison time( not to mention no one shot at them ). “

Symbolism of Wearing Masks

Sounds familiar? I find it interesting to compare the psychological methods used in 1918 to the psychological methods used in 2020 and on in the context of COVID.

According to Influenza Archive, “the wearing of a concealment immediately became of a typify of wartime patriotism … By attract on the rhetoric and imagery of the crusade endeavor and the heavy-handed patriotism that went along with it, municipality and regime state officials hoped to inveigle if not outright bully residents into compliance.”

“For city officials, the importance was not so much in the specifics of mask construction but rather in compliance with the requirements of the word of the ordinance. While the vast majority of San Franciscans followed the disguise dictate, police arrested one hundred and ten people on October 27 alone for failure to either wear or keep their disguises properly adjusted.

Each was charged with ‘disturbing the quietnes, ‘ and the majority given a$ 5 fine, with the money to go to the Red Cross. Nine unfortunate minds accused before one particular judge were sentenced to short terms in the county prison. The next day, another group of fifty violators got arrested; five were sent to jail, and seven others given fines of $10 a piece.

Arrests continued in the following days, with the majority receiving big penalizes and a few being sentenced to a few epoches in prison. As the city chief of police last-minute told reporters, if too many inhabitants were arrested and given prison calls for failure to wear their influenza disguise, he would immediately run out of space in his cells.”

It is also interesting to look at how in 1918, like today, it was more about the formal vicinity of a piece of cloth on the face than it was about stopping the virus. “Many of the cover-ups were framed of dubious materials even more porous and ineffective than the standard surgical gauze most often used.

Health officials and many disguise ‘experts’ bragged the effectiveness of all sorts of materials … The San Francisco Chronicle described some municipality tenants as wearing concealments ranging from standard surgical gauze to starts resembling nosebags, from the Turkish-inspired muslin yashmak veil to flimsy chiffon handles wrap lazily across the mouth and nose.

Some wore ‘fearsome looking machines like extended muzzles’ on their faces as they went wall street and patronized in downtown stores.'” I wonder if any of them inspected something like this?

Governor Kate Brown tweet

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Mask Science From Back in the Day

While legislators in some cities were enforcing porous masks in the name of patriotism and public good — and the police were incarcerating protesters — the scientists debated the value of masks for preventing the flu. For sample, this study from back in the working day stated the following πŸ˜› TAGEND

“The failure of the cover-up was a source of disappointment, for the first experiment in San Francisco was watched with interest with the expectation that if it proved feasible to enforce the regulation the desired result would be achieved.

The reverse proved true-life. The disguises, contrary to expectation, were worn cheerfully and universally, and too contrary to expectation of what shall be guided by under such circumstances , no impact on the epidemic arch was to be seen. Something was frankly wrong with our hypothesis.”

experimental study of the efficacy of gauze face masks

All in all, research studies came to the following conclusion πŸ˜› TAGEND

1. Gauze concealments practise a certain amount of restraining influence on the number of bacteria-laden droplets possible of inhalation.

2. This influence is modified by the number of strata and fineness of mesh of the gauze.

3. When a sufficient degree of density in the cover-up is used to exercise a helpful filtering influence, breathing is difficult and leakage makes place around the edge-of the disguise.

4. This leakage around the edges of the mask and the forceful dream of droplet laden air through the mask is sufficient to originate the possible reduction in dosage of infection not more than 50 per cent effective.

5. It remains for future inhibited experimentations in contagious disease hospices be decided whether the wearing of masks of such quality as to be reasonably pleasant are effective in diminish the incidence of infection.

6. Masks have not been demonstrated to have a degree of productivity that would warrant their obligatory have applied for the checking of epidemics.[ emphasis mine]

Aspirin Overdoses

In 2009, Karen M. Starko, an American epidemiologist, published an interesting paper designation, “Salicylates and Pandemic Influenza Mortality, 1918-1919 Pharmacology, Pathology, and Historic Evidence.” Her paper received positive feedback in the media and was even written about in the New York Times in the same year she published the paper. A direct paraphrase from the New York Times πŸ˜› TAGEND

“What fostered Dr. Starko’s doubts is that high dosages of aspirin, extents considered unsafe today, were commonly used to treat the illness, and the evidences of aspirin overdose may have been difficult to distinguish from those of the flu, especially among those who died soon after they became ill.

Some disbeliefs were raised even at the time. At least one contemporary pathologist working for the Public Health Service thought that the amount of lung mar realized during postmortems in early deaths was too little to attribute to viral pneumonia, and that the large amounts of bloody, runny liquid in the lungs ought to have some other cause.”

In the words of Dr. Starko,

“The hypothesis presented herein is that salicylate therapy for influenza during the 1918-1919 pandemic resulted in toxicity and pulmonary edema, which contributed to the incidence and severity of early ARDS-like lungs, precede bacterial illnes, and overall mortality.

Pharmacokinetic data, which were unavailable in 1918, indicate that the aspirin regimens recommends that the ‘Spanish influenza’ predispose to severe pulmonary toxicity.

A confluence of occurrences developed a ‘perfect storm’ for widespread salicylate toxicity. The loss of Bayer’s patent on aspirin in February 1917 accepted many creators into the rewarding aspirin market.

Official recommendations for aspirin therapy at poison doses were preceded by ignorance of the unusual nonlinear kinetics of salicylate( unknown until the 1960 s ), which predispose to accumulation and toxicity; tins and bottles that contained no tells and few directions; and panic of ‘Spanish’ influenza, an illness that had been spreading like wildfire.”




Dr. Starko proposed four pipelines of sign support the role of salicylate delirium in 1918 influenza death: pharmacokinetics, mechanism of war, pathology, and the batch of official recommendations for toxic regimens of aspirin immediately prior to the October 1918 death spike.

Official recommendations for aspirin were issued on 13 September 1918 by the US Surgeon General, on 26 September 1918 by the US Navy, and on 5 October 1918 by The Journal of the American Medical Association. Recommendations often recommended dose regimen that today are known to be unsafe.

“At the US Army camp with the highest mortality rate, doctors followed Osler’s treatment recommendations, which included aspirin, requiring 100,000 tablets. Aspirin marketings more than redoubled between 1918 and 1920. “

“The number of deaths in the United Government increased steeply, peaking first in the Navy in late September, then in the Army in early October, and finally in the general population in late October. Homeopaths, who thought aspirin was a poison, claimed few fatalities. Others may have suspected that aspirin was responsible.

On 23 November, 1918, Horder wrote in The Lancet that, for ‘intensely lethal cases…aspirin and all so-called febrifuge remedies must be rigidly exempted from the treatment'( p 695 ). ”

According to Dr. Starko

“Just before the 1918 demise spike, aspirin was recommended in regimens now known to be potentially poison and to stimulate pulmonary edema and may therefore have contributed to overall pandemic mortality and various of its puzzles. Young adult mortality may be explained by willingness to use the new, recommended care and the presence of youth in regimented management settleds( armed ).

The lower death of children may be a result of less aspirin use … The appearance of Reye syndrome-like illness before the 1950 s is debated and consistent with the fact that children’s aspirin was not sold until the late 1940 s. Varying aspirin use may also contribute to the differences in fatality between municipals and between armed camps.”

The entire paper by Dr. Starko is fascinating, and I recommend that you read it and envision for yourself. Looking back, it is hard to say to which extent precisely aspirin overdose was to blame comparing to other factors, and what was more deadly — the epidemic in itself or the rage of the health officials — but the hypothesis definitely realizes one question the very foundations of what we know as “true.” Again.

“Invisible Rainbow”

There is also a hypothesis by Arthur Firstenberg, the author of “Invisible Rainbow, ” that needs to be mentioned. Firstenberg “traces the history of energy from the early eighteenth century to the present, making a compelling case that countless environmental problems, as well as the major infections of industrialized civilization — coronary thrombosis, diabetes, and cancer — are related to electrical pollution.”

That angle deserves a legend of its own — and that’s regardless of how anyone feels about the scorching controversy between germ assumption and the terrain theory. Germs or terrain, it is by now known very well known that electromagnetic pollution has a major impact on human cellular gathering and can impact human health. On the grounds of impacting the human immune system alone, it is worth investigating in earnest.

Personally, I suspect that when the censorship of the topic of the impact of electromagnetic pollution on human health eventually starts the action of Teflon and asbestos, it will help us a good deal. Not that Teflon and asbestos have disappeared … in fact, asbestos is newly cool in the context of fighting the “climate emergency, ” believe it or not. But at least one can talk about Teflon and asbestos without being called a conspiracy theorist!

Reconstruction of the 1918 Flu Virus

In the early 2000 s, the 1918 influenza virus was reconstructed. In the words of the CDC, “CDC researchers and their colleagues successfully restored the influenza virus that induced the 1918 -1 9 flu pandemic, which “ve killed a” numerous as 50 million people worldwide.” What a great idea! No genuinely, what a great idea!

Sarcasm aside, there is a gruesome and outraging detail to the reconstruction process. In order to create a genomic sequence of what the scientists agreed to believe was the 1918 flu virus, the scientists resorted to excavating a mausoleum in Alaskan permafrost and desecrating their own bodies of an Inuit woman who was buried there. They too extracted samples from the organizations of two late U.S. busines members, one in South Carolina, and the other one in the state of New York.

It seems like whenever modern mechanical curiosity and thirst for control take over, the respect for life and death just goes away. It’s not like there was a looming threat over humanity that required urgent measures. There was no such threat. The investigates did it simply because they were curious and felt entitled to sticking their digits where they didn’t belong. And as long as our science absences soul, we’ll be their lab rats.

I will end with a rhetorical question: Are we ambling in haloes? Will we learn? We can only hope! It is quite fascinating how record happens, then echoes — and then we forget.

About the Author

To find more of Tessa Lena’s work, be sure to check out her bio, Tessa Fights Robots.

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