People gave up on flu pandemic measures a century ago when they tired of them – and paid a price

Armistice Day celebrations on Nov. 11, 1918, worried public health experts as people crowded together in cities across the U.S.
AP Photo

by J. Alexander Navarro, University of Michigan

Picture the United States struggling to deal with a deadly pandemic.

State and local officials enact a slate of social-distancing measures, gathering bans, closure orders and mask mandates in an effort to stem the tide of cases and deaths.

The public responds with widespread compliance mixed with more than a hint of grumbling, pushback and even outright defiance. As the days turn into weeks turn into months, the strictures become harder to tolerate.

Theater and dance hall owners complain about their financial losses.

Clergy bemoan church closures while offices, factories and in some cases even saloons are allowed to remain open.

Officials argue whether children are safer in classrooms or at home.

No mask, no service on streetcar in 1918.


Click to read the full article @New Pittsburgh Courier