People Refused to Wear Masks in 1918-675,000 Americans Died

07/14/2020 12:45 PM | Anonymous

In 1918,  there were no vaccines or drug therapies, and communities considered a variety public health measures to slow the spread of a deadly influenza epidemic.  Schools and businesses were closed,  public gatherings were banned, and those infected  were isolated and quarantined. Communities recommended or required that citizens wear face masks in public which created the most negative reaction among the public. 

The 1918, the United States Public Health Service circulated leaflets encouraging citizens to wear a mask. The Red Cross bluntly stated that “the man or woman or child who will not wear a mask now is a dangerous slacker.”  Red Cross took out newspaper ads encouraging their use and offered instructions on how to construct masks at home using gauze and cotton string. 

Poster of a Red Cross nurse wearing a gauze mask over her nose and mouth–with tips to prevent the influenza pandemic. [Photo: US National Library of Medicine]

Read more at Fast Company

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