The Ill-fated Spanish Flu Of 1918


The leading specialist on those facts. estimates that this ‘pale rider’ took between 50 and 100 million people . In Spain. the first wave especially affected Castile and. as the authorities refused to cancel the festivities of San Isidro and close schools and markets. it is estimated that in Madrid alone about 10.000 people died in three months . The second wave occurred after the summer and lasted until the first months of 1919 . impacting Catalonia with special harshness. In large numbers. it is estimated that eight million Spaniards (40% of the population) became polluted and the victims rose to over a quarter of a million . And there was a third resurgence in 1920 with 20.000 deaths. especially children under 4 years old. Society and politics in the context of the Spanish flu In general.

The whole episode affected mainly urban areas and. for example. Barcelona reached 350 deaths per day at its worst. Surprisingly. as historian Borja de Riquer points out . this drama did not occupy too many headlines – the state of war declared by President Antonio Maura also made it difficult – and people seemed more interested in the internal political vicissitudes and wars. external : “And. even more serious. that pandemic. in fact. disappeared from official memory.” Rather. with few exceptions such as that of the Valencian doctor Joan Peset . given the obvious shortcomings of Spanish action – King Alfonso XIII himself was convalescing – the episode was used to launch the interested idea about the need for an iron surgeon capable (it was said) of regenerating Spain .

A Figure Who In 1923 Was

Played by General Miguel Primo de Rivera . More generally Bahamas Phone Numbers  the experience of the Spanish flu. one of the most important pandemics in history. left us with a series of basic lessons . such as the need to focus on hygiene and science . The exemplary behavior and solidarity of certain individuals and groups was also remarkable. both in 1918 and now. In the words of economic geographer Richard Florida . “this emerging working-class movement for higher wages. more protective equipment. and better working conditions bears an eerie similarity to the movement of industrial workers that emerged a century ago in the wake of the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic ”. Pandemics in history – COVID19 COVID-19 2020 Pandemics in history: social and health responses Going back to what happened a century ago .

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Confinement was often the most effective response . because the opposite only accentuated the devastating effects of the epidemic. as happened in Zamora where the bishop trusted everything in the mass masses . Today. again. we are talking about preventive social distancing. and only radical minorities or ill-informed enlightenment question this certainty. Unfortunately. in some cases these measures are out of reach. evidencing shamefully normalized inequalities such as those in refugee camps . Because the reality is that. as long as an effective vaccine is not available. quarantine has been and still is the only effective measure . although for greater guarantee they ask for organized (and legitimate) authorities and (benefit) of a committed and informed citizenry .

Without Having To Recall

The great medieval and modern plagues . at the end of the 19th century. We find different episodes. especially of cholera – much more deadly than typhus or yellow fever – which hit different parts of the Spanish geography. In the case of Mallorca . as the demographers Pere Salas and Joana Maria Pujadas have recently explained. The island experienced 28 cordonings between 1787 and 1899. Just two centuries ago. the area of the Mallorcan Levant from where I write these lines was confine.

The epidemic did not go beyond the villages of Son Servera. Artà. Capdepera and Sant Llorenç des Cardassar. but mortality inside the cordon rose to 60%. In the specific case of the server population . A look at the COVID-19 pandemic from history. The historical background shows us how. Humanity requires in mistakes and we seem to rediscover successes . Obviously. not everything is that simple. There are aspects that have improved such as scientific research and accumulated knowledge. But others that have worsened such as the reduction of biodiversity . As we said at the beginning. the collective memory is short and after the combined disaster. Of the Spanish flu and the First World War came the happy 1920s.

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