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Coronavirus and the Sun: a Lesson from
the 1918 Influenza Pandemic

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Posted By: earlybird, 3/16/2020 6:22:39 PM

When new, virulent diseases emerge, such SARS and Covid-19, the race begins to find new vaccines and treatments for those affected. As the current crisis unfolds, governments are enforcing quarantine and isolation, and public gatherings are being discouraged. Health officials took the same approach 100 years ago, when influenza was spreading around the world. The results were mixed. But records from the 1918 pandemic suggest one technique for dealing with influenza — little-known today — was effective. Some hard-won experience from the greatest pandemic in recorded history could help us in the weeks and months ahead.(Snip) severely ill flu patients nursed outdoors recovered better than those treated indoors.


From the LCom archives, dated March 10, 2020, posted with Staff permission.

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Reply 1 - Posted by: earlybird 3/16/2020 6:26:15 PM (No. 348365)
During the great pandemic, two of the worst places to be were military barracks and troop-ships. Overcrowding and bad ventilation put soldiers and sailors at high risk of catching influenza and the other infections that often followed it.[2,3] My Dad survived the flu in 1918 because the Army nurse caring for him moved his bed outdoors. She told him he would never survive indoors. Meanwhile, my Mother’s brother died of flu while packed into a troop ship headed for France. One of the deployments now known to have been unnecessary because WWI had effectively ended. The ship went anyway… Flu/pneumonia casualties were horrific.
29 people like this.

Reply 2 - Posted by: GreatGreyhounds 3/16/2020 6:38:43 PM (No. 348370)
Another reason to get on the Harley and ride...
14 people like this.

Reply 3 - Posted by: Rumblehog 3/16/2020 6:56:07 PM (No. 348385)
The worst place to be was a cold, wet battlefield trench in France or Germany. The death rate among soldiers on both sides was extremely high, so much so that it brought Germany to capitulation earlier than expected.
12 people like this.

Reply 4 - Posted by: Aud 3/16/2020 7:33:34 PM (No. 348400)
Vicks Vapo-Rub was advertised as a treatment for the Spanish Flu. My grandmother drove out to see the coffins piled at Fort Des Moines waiting too receive the bodies of soldiers dying from the flu. My Dad, who she took with him age 9, said that was a funny thing to do, wasn’t it?
6 people like this.

Reply 5 - Posted by: Lawsy0 3/16/2020 7:34:52 PM (No. 348401)
As preteens, my sister and I had a sad learning curve when we visited the old country church grave yard. We wondered at the tiny little angel statues and wee lamb tombstones along with stone markers that looked like columns cut in half. Elderly aunt told us about the Influenza epidemic in 1918 where a number of children died. The columns were teens and young adults who had succumbed to the illness. Teen girls are weepy enough, but that experience colored the rest of our summer.
9 people like this.

Reply 6 - Posted by: FLCracker 3/16/2020 7:45:40 PM (No. 348405)
I know when I get sick I want to emulate lizards and find a rock in the sun to sleep on. I usually have to settle for a lawn chair.
12 people like this.

Reply 7 - Posted by: DVC 3/16/2020 8:04:18 PM (No. 348424)
Vitamin D. And probably just fresh air, too. Sunlight also has lots of ultraviolet, which kills bacteria, so fewer secondary infections. Your body makes huge quantities of Vitamin D when exposed to the sun. I take D supplements, have for decades, never had the flu in my entire life, have a cold about every other year or less. In my 40 year working career I was off work about 3 days, total, for illness.
14 people like this.

Reply 8 - Posted by: greggojo 3/16/2020 8:04:55 PM (No. 348425)
Fresh air (as much as the weather permits), and sunshine, and extreme hygiene. Makes perfect sense. (I would add lots of vitamin C, but that's just mho.)
7 people like this.

Reply 9 - Posted by: ROLFNader 3/16/2020 8:32:00 PM (No. 348444)
This coincides with the articles I've read in the last few weeks that the virus doesn't survive as well in an atmoshpere that is warmer and more humid. Thought about this today when the president and his advisors mentioned that spring/summer months will play a large part in stopping the spread of the virus which prefers cooler weather ( in a low humidity environment , i.e. furnaces pumping out dryer air.) Living in northern Michigan , I hope this occurs soon, for this reason and many others....
8 people like this.

Reply 10 - Posted by: volksford 3/16/2020 9:08:35 PM (No. 348463)
Been sending up a prayer nightly that this summer is hot and humid. I think its starting to work, its in the eighties already here in NE Florida. Maybe global warming will help solve the problem !
7 people like this.

Reply 11 - Posted by: Jethro bo 3/16/2020 9:55:53 PM (No. 348489)
Boy, good thing our goobernemnt is telling us to stay indoors and not get out. Isn't that exactly what we have come to expect for our goobernment? They will do everything in their power to make the lives of every man, woman and child in this country as miserable as possible. And if they can kill a few of us, even better. No sunlight or fresh air as it might help us! Hey, goobernmemt might even kill a few us us as a bonus. Oh, and taxes will go up after goobernment creates the next depression by depressing our economy by destroying jobs and businesss. A natural disaster turned into a disaster of biblical proportions all thanks to our goobernment!
6 people like this.

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