Lessons learned from 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic

Take a look at the dates: 1890-1918, 1878-1918, 1896-1918, 1917-1918... All of those who were buried on this slope in Barre (Vt) died within days or weeks. Brian Zecchinelli said, "It's quite humbling."

Lessons learned from 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic

Nearly 200 people died in that fall's pandemic, also known as the 1918 Spanish Flu.

Zecchinelli and Karen own the Wayside Restaurant in nearby Vermont. It has become an institution in Vermont. He said that Effie Ballou, who opened the Wayside in 1918, was killed by the pandemic two months later.

Zecchinelli never ceases to think about how little he knows about 1918 flu and the fact his grandfather was one of the victims. On October 10, 1918, he was 35 years old. Germinio Zecchinelli had, like many other stone cutters from Italy, moved to Barre in order to cut granite and carve gravestones for the country (and sometimes each other's), as it turned out.

Martha Teichner, correspondent of Zecchinelli, said that the Spanish Flu is often called the "forgotten flu". Germinio and the other victims were not going to forget that we had any part in it. We wanted to remember him and all the other 50 million people who died around the world.

To his surprise, there was no significant monument anywhere, despite the overwhelming number of deaths. Yes, the forgotten pandemic.

In 2018, Zecchinelli, a century later, commissioned the one-off. He said, "It's unbelievable that nothing else has been done."

Six-hundred-seventy-five thousand Americans died in that pandemic. We now have nearly one million people who have died from COVID.

What has history taught us?

John Barry, a Tulane University scholar, wrote "The Great Influenza," the definitive history on 1918 influenza. He said that this time it reinforced the lesson learned in 1918: You tell the truth.

"You heard that this was all about 1918 virus. This is not the case. It is clear that Trump knew that Trump was lying" (like his statement February 27, 2020: "It's going away." It will vanish one day, it's almost like a miracle.

What did the confusion about science's ever-evolving developments have to do with trust and compliance? Dr. Anthony Fauci's March 8, 2020 declaration, "There's not reason to be walking around wearing a mask" vs. Fauci’s Oct. 29, 2020 support for community COVID protocols. "The flagship of which is wearing masks."

Barry stated, "You know, trust and truth are all interconnected."

Teichner asked: "Was it the same result then and now?"

He replied, "Well, obviously people who might have been alive in 1918, died." "Clearly, this time around people didn't believe what they were being told. It's clear that vaccine misinformation and active attacks on vaccines have killed people.

Martha Lincoln, a medical anthrologist at San Francisco State University sees 1918 amnesia occurring again. "We are already forgetting even before the pandemic ends. The pandemic is already forgotten. At best, I see a long struggle over whether or not we will ever remember the pandemic. And if so, what will that memory be."

Lincoln stated that our entertainment is, for example, like a parallel universe in which COVID is either invisible or long gone.

Not everyone chooses to forget. The monument business is thriving in Barre, Vermont, which is the self-proclaimed granite centre of the world. Rob Boulanger, the manager of the massive Rock of Ages plant, said that "We're up 25%-30% depending upon product lines; I believe all domestic manufacturers have risen." People are pre-buying so they are considering their mortality. You want to make sure that everything is in order before anything happens.

Teichner asked: "Has COVID affected that?"

"Oh, absolutely."

The desire to be remembered is a catalyst.

Kristin Urquiza stated, "I believe that if it doesn't manage to properly commemorate those who have been lost in the pandemic, then it says that people such as my dad, his existence, didn't matter." Her father Mark Urquiza died in a hospital in Arizona on June 30, 2020. He was on a ventilator and she never had the opportunity to say good-bye to him. It was pre-vaccine. Although cases were increasing, Arizona was opening up again.

Urquiza stated that he could have said no to gathering with his friends to celebrate "the end" of the pandemic. "He was provided false information, upon which he made decisions that would ultimately cost him his life," Urquiza said.

Urquiza created Marked by COVID, a non-profit advocating permanent memorials and a CVOD Memorial Day. There has been very little support from Congress. She stated, "Our elected representatives would prefer to move on, but I'm here today to tell you that we won't let them."

Barry stated, "I wouldn’t be surprised if not really many memorials."

"But a million dead? They are invisible? Teichner asked.

"Well, who is going to take credit for that?" He laughed. He laughed.

Barry should find the 1918 flu to be sufficient justification - a reminder of the human cost of forgetting.

He said, "There will be another epidemic." "If we don't learn from the not, we will be fools," he said.


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