Spanish Flu Part 2: Closer to Home

Looking back just a few weeks, we have come a long way in the response to COVID-19. What started as another disease halfway around the world suddenly landed on our shores and came into our daily lives causing great disturbance.  This is very much like the 1918 Spanish Influenza Epidemic.  What started as something "over there" soon come to Ohio, this was examined in our last post accessible here.  Today we will trace the response from a national and state level to a local level, where it begins to effect daily life in Fulton County.

Then, just as now, reports of the epidemic from other parts of the country, particularly New York City,  show us what maybe to come.  In an effort to lessen the effects, some institutions and officials begin to take actions to prevent the spread of the disease before broader range policies are put into place.  

October 11th, 1918  Edition of the Fulton County Tribune
This story appeared along side the one from above.

The flu also appears in Ohio and begins to effect daily life.  Schools and cities begin to take actions very similar to the ones authorities began to take earlier this month. 

With schools closing college students begin to return home.

As the flu increases so does the strain on the medical professions whose services are already in demand due to World War I.  The Red Cross puts out a call for nurses and begins to enlist students and other hospital workers in the call to fulfill both needs.  Locally the Red Cross begins to create a register of nurses on whom they can call as the epidemic in Ohio gets worse.

This notice appeared on the front page.

As the epidemic spreads life in Fulton County begins to change.  We see the first postponement of an event in the county.  We also see local leaders begin to take steps towards preventing the spread of the disease.

Appearing on the front page of the paper, the guidelines for avoiding Influenza seem very much like the guidelines for avoiding COVID-19.  Social Distancing in not a new concept when it comes to a pandemic.

Sources: All of today's clippings come from the October 11th edition of the Fulton County Tribune.  In the interest of discovering what life was like during this pandemic I have not included notices of individuals who have the flu.  There are a number of these notices both in the Fulton County Tribune and in the Archbold buckeye.

Fulton County Tribune Archive, Chronicling American, The Library of Congress


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