I’ve always been very curious. I had first heard of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic in January in a wet market, a place where small animals were kept crowded together in small cages before being butchered. My search was on. I needed to know as much as possible. I learned a little about bats, pangolins and civets. As the days in February crept on I was worried. It was not something we, all around the world, knew how to deal with. The disease had strange and somewhat familiar symptoms in combination with powerful symptoms which could easily kill a person. We didn’t have medicine which could make it disappear.
I found I had to go back to the 1918 Spanish Influenza outbreak. My mother born in 1908 would have been only 10 years old. Her father was a doctor and would have to have treated the people in Pennsylvania. My father born in 1901 would have been 17. Both parents are now gone. A friend of mine who is 98 years old was the closest I could get to 1918, but she was born in 1922… So no one to talk to and ask questions. In 2020, I had no idea what to do except to read a book.
So off I went to the internet to order a hard copy, something that I could hold in my hands, John M. Barry’s book, The Great Influenza, The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History. I love being read to, so when the book arrived Bob and I decided to read it to each other chapter by chapter. We learned about the history of medicine in America and Europe. America was far behind. Many of our physicians traveled to Europe to study. The book told where the assumed first case started, how it spread because of soldiers traveling to be trained and fight in WW1, the sequence of waves of infection, how our body steps up our immune system to fight off an invader and many brilliant men and women who experimented for long hours searching for vaccines and cures.
After reading this extensive book on the 1918 pandemic, I had a much better view of what we are dealing with in these times of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am clear on the following these important points.
Respect the knowledge of the epidemiological scientists. Use common sense. Think how best to curtail the disease as rapidly as possible. Continually self-educate on topics of this disease from reliable scientific sources. Do not be selfish or think you are invincible or immortal. Be curious! Be healthy. Eat your veggies, fruits, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds for a strong immune system. This disease has no boundaries. Be very, very careful to be well educated and stay up to date with the latest information. Do not be bashful wearing a mask. It has two way protection and could save your life and others lives.
Until the next sketch, Heather