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tv   1918 Flu Pandemic  CSPAN  April 6, 2021 8:00pm-9:24pm EDT

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third of the world's population. up next on american history tv laura vote with the national world war i museum and memorial discusses the correlations between the 1918 pandemic and today's global crisis. she's joined by nancy bristow from the university of puget sound. this event was hosted in partnership with the northeast kansas library system and the world war i museum which provided the video. and now i'd like to introduce and i'd like to bring to the proverbial stage here both rimsy and dr. nancy bristow of four
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our conversation about the fact that we might have been here before. thank you to all of you who have who are part of the rsvps you all gave us 250 over 250 amazing questions to answer and we are gonna do our best to in a dress some of them in broad strokes to begin with and then to really kind of run through and do as many deep dive questions as we possibly can at the end at the end of our conversation and again, i wanted to show out to there are people from across the united states from washington to pennsylvania.
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hello, texas, virginia, california, brooklyn, nebraska, georgia. kasimo olathe reno. it was everyone from the town's mentioned in your county libraries. hello catherine footer delighted that you're joining us from new york, and i think rimsy is working her way into our space and while she does i think i know what the first question is gonna be. so there we go, ramsey. fantastic and afraid you might still be muted. can you hear me now? okay, we're gonna start with a question when where and how did the spanish flu begin? and what caused it? and nancy, but i'm gonna jump in
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really quick to just suggest that the name spanish flu itself is a misnomer this flu did not begin in spain by any stretch of the imagination. in fact, it was called the spanish flu by contemporaries because the nation the world i should say was at war world war i was underway. spain was not a belligerent nation so they didn't have wartime censorship so as country after country after country succumbed to this flu attack, they hid the information they didn't talk about how many citizens were sick because they wanted to look strong in the midst of this conflict except for spain and spain told the story so that they got blamed for the flu when it's far more likely that we should be calling at the american flu. in fact, that's right your neighbors there in kansas. wow, right and many of them actually say that i think it's the first reported case happen at camp funston.
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and this is what's now known as fort riley in kansas. there's also a lot of scholars who might disagree they might say, you know, it's one of the first reported cases and coming from this space that you see in front of you, but there may be some evidence that shows that it could have started early variant might occurred in the uk in france. i know that there's one scholar who suggests china but the united states this is the place that we can look at and i have to say we just pull this out of our archive at the national world war i museum and memorial and kind of gives me the heebie jeebies and right now, but you can see how all of these people are really closely packed together for a football game. i believe that's going to be 1918 so really right before you have this spread so this is right before some of this or kind of right as this is all starting to occur. and so you can see we all know
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that kind of being in close proximity and the like you certainly are sharing air and germs and all of that other sort of good stuff that may or may not have been as clear 100 years ago. but you end up having really the first reported cases happening and this is a picture of and this was the picture from our event itself. this is a picture of the the medical space at camp funston. but it we're right in the midst of a war. you have these individuals who don't really understand the full extent to what is going to be happening. just how contagious it is how quickly it's moving and it's in many ways back for us in the united states kind of that feeling of being those first couple weeks in march in february, right? we don't necessarily know and people are all kind of packed together and they are moving out from the middle of the midwest.
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again, you can kind of see how all of a sudden you have this transporting of a virus. you've got americans who are landing in russia. americans who are serving in china, so it's really easy to see how it becomes this global very quickly becomes this global pandemic. it is in many ways similar to the type of travel that we have had that we have in the modern era really is the type of mass movements that are occurring at the time. and one thing i would one thing i would add to that in case it's it may become relevant as we talk about how they dealt with it. is that those first cases in kansas? people aren't aware that there's a global pandemic about to happen. right which is not unlike how we were when we're first hearing about wuhan but it is that mobilization of the troops that then takes it from the us over to europe and this is happening
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in the spring and summer and it's when it arrives at the western front that people start really noticing that something's happening and then in late august there is a shift in the virus and that's when you get the really explosive illness that we associate with the pandemic and it's almost as if it's already a second wave but the first wave had moved through without the same kind of severity. okay, what were the public health measures back then and were they as politicized as they are today? oh, that's a really great question and i saw some of the questions that some of you asked and they were incredibly poignant as well. i think some of you have asked things. like how did they how did they stroke? how did they cope with the how did they cope with the stress?
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i really some really good. you've got some great questions questions in there. i will. going to show some pictures. of the era and then nancy if you want to kind of speak. choose some of and you know some of this here and just a second, but i want to start actually with the letter from the collection we expected to be quarantined upon our arrival. it was unexpected and they had as many deaths as they did on the ships on their way over and it was something that would not happen again people did kind of quickly learn about the disease permit about the about the virus. they tried to take measures to the best of the knowledge that they had at the time. it's the same thing that we have been experiencing as well. right so they started off educating with the best information that they had available sneeze but don't scatter right? it's the that's the really not
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the same version as this at all. but that's that's the point right? it's telling you not not to scatter. so it is almost 100 years ago the exact same thing that we tell our elementary school kids to do today, and there's some not so great advice things like onion soup or other remedies that may not have necessarily been so helpful, but again, you've got if you take a look a little bit later in the second paragraph here there seems to be no sure method of preventing the influence it but there's no doubt that overcrowding in stuffy billets. promiscuous coughing and sneezing our two of the most important causes feel free to use the word promiscuous coughing as often as you want over the next week and and think fondly of us and how the language was used back in the day now every man should see to it that he has a lot of floor space plenty of ventilation
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right some of these questions that we look to that we look today and lastly when you get ill go see the medical officer. and this is one of my favorite photographs and this is courtesy the national archives. that question that many of you had about masks. this is the 39th regiment on its way to france. they are going through seattle each one of them had a mask that have been provided by the seattle chapter of the red cross. and and folks are trying to figure out i believe this is a picture from ku hospital. and their base hospital they're trying to figure out what's causing this. we have a whole series of x-rays and the like i did not add those in specifically, but but doctors are really trying their very best and to get to the root causes what spreading it and the like you can again see some of those.
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as specific ways that folks are trying to address. and the public health issue nancy. do you want to add more? i think you've nailed what's so important here. is that on the one hand they can't see the virus. they don't have the technology. so we're in a much more advantage position because we could identify the virus immediately. they did not have the technology, but they did understand germ theory and so they were operating sort of on face that these measures should help but they couldn't tell whether they were either so it was really a tough struggle. i think to get people to continue to follow these these restrictions, but it was very much the same ones closures. right not allowing public meetings. public masking quarantining of the sick educating of the public more air circulation. it's just down the line almost identical to the measures that
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we're taking today. it's just that we know because we have their data in fact as well as data that we've produced this time around. we know that these measures work whereas they're having to use them kind of on faith and on belief in what the leadership is asking for and that's where the politicization part comes in i think is so interesting here, which is i would argue that it's not in any way as politicized because in this iteration of a terrible global pandemic in our nation, at least it was politicized very much around party politics and around elections so that you know to wear a mask or not to wear a mask was to make a political statement of sorts. there was nothing like that in in 1918 what you do see though is public resistance nevertheless at the beginning of the pandemic people are anxious to do anything. they're told in hopes of staying healthy, but as they realize that people around them are continuing to get sick and to die. there's kind of a loss of faith in the leadership because they can't know they don't have the
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idea friends. it's a flattening the curve that we can throw around. and so when new waves come around in many communities go through a really serious wave in the fall of 1918 and then it's followed by another wave during the winter spring. it's much harder to get people to cooperate in that next wave because like wait a minute we did what you said. all still getting sick. i am the whole masking thing. yeah, so that's where you end up right with the anti masking group in san francisco. yeah to the person who asked quite specifically the question did the us population behave themselves any better before then they are this go around. i feel like dr. bristow just answered your question and thank you for writing it that way because it did make me laugh and you know, it's part of just our everyday it is part of our part of our everyday experience. and for the person who asked how do you address a person not wanting to wear ppe about the importance of doing so based on past history? so we've got a little bit here and hopefully we have some more
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for you here in just tibet. someone else also has to really good question. not only about did health care workers wear it and the answer is definitely yes, but also about the death tolls to healthcare workers and if you can still see it if you've got a large enough screen if you take a look in the kind of left. inside and you see that woman with her arms crossed you can actually see how thin that that mask is. what we benefit from is that we know the importance of having a thicker mask being able not being able to blow a candle out from behind it and the like a lot of the masks that were provided and that people were working with at the time. we're actually made of kind of a gaussy material so they weren't as effective as they as they are today. it was a great question about the the death toll for nurses. i can say that one of in our museum and memorial your
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national world war i museum memorial. there's a listing of the dead from kansas city in memory hall and it's kind of of that kind of greater, kansas city area and we do have we do have one nurse who we know died of the flu who is listed on that wall. she was taking part in and giving humanitarian way and she didn't die of combat, but because she was there in those spaces. so those deaths absolutely absolutely are part of that sacrifice for the war effort. so it also gets a little bit complicated for some of the other questions that come later about about death toll as well. okay, overall. how do you think the two pandemics compare? and was 1918 overall worse than 2020.
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i mean there's there's so much to be said here. do you want me to start off flora? and then yeah. okay. so first you're dealing with two different viruses, which is important to notice and in 1918 you were dealing with a level of exposure and infection. the infection rates are roughly a quarter of the population or a third of the population worldwide something like 500 million people are infected with this disease. so it's an extraordinary number and then it also has a high mortality rate at about two and a half percent in the united states which is higher than what we seem to be suffering from covid-19. i think those statistics are very unclear still as are the statistics from 1918 one thing that they had an advantage in 1918 is that you didn't have you weren't able to infect others before you were symptomatic. there's none of this asymptomatic problem that we're wrestling with.
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which probably helped in terms of trying to keep those who are sick away from those who are healthy. so in terms of the virus itself, you're dealing with something that's quite different and they do lose 675,000 americans out of a population of 100 million. so we're not yet at the same death poem. we're a much larger nation today. so in terms of sheer numbers at this point, it was actually worse and it was compressed into a tighter time period almost all of the death takes place in a roughly four or five six months period as opposed to ours being stretched over a longer period but then in terms of how it is sort of how people make their way through it. there's so many similarities. it's absolutely awful frankly as a historian to watch so a lack of federal leadership in terms of the person in the white house in both cases woodrow wilson never says a word about the pandemic and we know that the former president of the white house in our own time, you know gave a lot of really misleading and misinformation around the pandemic that very helpful in
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both cases without that leadership from the very top without any sort of federal program. you have a scattershot approach in both cases where city to city county to county state to state. there's so much variation and what you want most of all in a pandemic is a unified approach not to say that each community wouldn't be at different phases because we're dealing with different moments of the pandemic, but that you should have a shared plan of attack because viruses don't care about state lines. they don't care about county lines. we have lack in both cases that kind of coordination from above. another thing that i think is really important just to remember is the most important thing is the same about both which is the main story is trauma and suffering and loss of life and that is shared across these sent, you know the century it was just as traumatic and just as horrific for people to lose their loved ones then as it is now and criminally i would argue today as in those days
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that is inequitably distributed in our society and that for me is frankly criminal in 2021 that we could have been at a place 100 years later where those same kinds of racial divides and the same costs for instance of poverty would still be so blatant, but those are the things that immediately pop to mind from me in terms of similarities that are really marketed despite the difference in the virus itself. all right. okay, i and i would say for me right being a curator at a museum. i've got to always go back to the primary sources. uh, i'll read this out loud in case it's not clear on your screen. this is from the the highest medical person in the land warning to the country that the influenza epidemic is by no means ended and that all possible precautions against the disease should be taken was issued tonight by surgeon general blue of the public
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health service reports received by the service show a recurrence of the disease practically from one end of the country to another and in his statement dr. blue advised the closing of public schools on the first sign of the reappearance of the epidemic. i mean, i feel like that's almost i mean that that is maybe not the exact words of dr. fauci, but there's a real sense of this exact same sentiment that is so just happening right now. we're we're in a very similar place and you can see here in a letter from walter shaw to his mother. in bonner springs he says oh probably it's actually i think. vice versa there the band is still on everything. the influenza is better although quite a few deaths have occurred here. i think school will begin next week also churches and picture shows as everything has been closed for a month. that we have this.
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this real similarity. this isn't new that question about do we close schools? do we close churches? you know what happens economically to those picture shows and and the lake and nancy. i think you brought up earlier that when you used to teach this before this year, you would say, can you imagine closing a school for two weeks? well in the course that's one of the differences that we've i mean, it's it's so difficult to know what to do because you don't know what's going to happen next. but this issue about closing schools. they were talking about something that might be in their community for two or three or four weeks. and here we are almost on a year anniversary of when my university for instance sent me home and said you go learn how to use your computer because you're teaching virtually on monday, which i found on a saturday night. they were dealing with with a more confined time period but they didn't have computers. so, you know, we were able to
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stay in touch by with computer. i've been teaching online for almost a year now, but we've been able to continue some education in a way that they didn't have that option. so it sounds crazy to say i feel lucky. but in some ways i think the technology that we have has been a real bonus and also for those who are who are really sequestered as individuals my own mother as 91 so she can't be out and about but we as soon as i get off here, my next stop is the family zoom that we do every night which again i'm so grateful in some ways for some of the technology that we have that they had to work with out through the pandemic of 1918. and i love your point that this issue about the churches and schools. these were absolutely hot issues then just as they are today there was disagreement about whether or not to close things there were disagreements about when you should open them and it was often the same players that were taking the same position. so there's so much resonance. it's really fascinating sometimes to watch us and again, i don't think it was difficult to decide what to do in those days and it's difficult to
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decide what to do today as well. i yeah, it gives us a historic empathy. i think many of us and likely not you as you an entire book on this but as a former, i'm teaching in the lake all the sudden you can really identify with this time frame in a much more visceral and a much more empathetic way because you can see where we do. just make some of these exact same choices and for many of you who are joining us. you are asking the same question. what is it that we could learn from history when some of them are these things of of us trying to do our best, you know, when and where do you wear masks or how do you handle and you know, what are the sacrifices that individuals and communities are willing to make at the end of the day that really comes down that that is one of the big questions that we end up asking that they were asking back then and that we're asking ourselves today in san francisco had one
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of the most stringent ordinances their city board of health recommended against using street cars at peak times to avoid crowds. we're just personal hygiene all services to be canceled or held outside wearing face masks. they later en. as a final ordinance, they did something similar in seattle as well. you can actually see a court that is being held outdoors because they were encouraging folks to do that. it is also in san francisco that they had a scene of a pretty significant anti-mask protest. so if you're looking for similarities and right here and one of the things that's really interesting about san francisco is they had had masks and then things have gotten better and they quit wearing them at one point, but during that first time period they still had the max order mask ordinance in place and the mayor and the chief of public health were spotted a boxing match without their masks on it completely undercut the whole masking effort in the city and it goes back to the ways in which sort of modeling public health if
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there are restrictions then having leadership model those can make a difference in the public's response to whether or not they feel compelled then also to follow the rules and san francisco. it didn't help them. they went on to have a much higher death rate for instance than seattle had had school and see if we've got a couple of other images here again back 100 years ago as today on your left hand side. you actually see an advertisement for what it we would now refer to as bone broth saying that it's going to keep you from getting it infected. so certainly there's that element of capitalism that we see in other aspects of our lives and journalism as well image here curse of bonner springs library. cannot say when the schools will be opened up again. everything depends on what course the flu epidemic takes new cases on decline. i again, i feel like that's that's a similar headline that you might be seeing in other
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spaces today. so, you know those feelings that intensity trying to find that balance that is exactly what people were doing 100 years ago and and in our encountering again today at the national world war i museum and memorial we have really wonderful teacher resource. that was put together by our school programs manager, cherie kelly, and we're actually showing you a part of the answer guide. we give it as a sample because we are still right in the midst of covid-19 and that asking students to kind of do a comparison between 1918 from history books and then taking a look at whatever your current events say at the time that you might be using this and doing this comparison between past and the present but the nice thing about really good teacher resources is that they're helpful no matter your age so
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i'm gonna really quickly through kind of go through some of these different comparisons. and again, this was even crafted prior to getting all of your questions here together. but we'll give you a link about where to grab this and nancy. i got a question for you about waves of infection later on i think. and whether or not you would say that it's three or four actually, i'll just ask you that question right now. you know, i i'm not sure. i'm not an epidemiologist. i won't pretend to be one. i have family that are actually medical health professionals. so i have to be really careful not to say anything silly. it's hard to know what we do know is that there is a fourth there is a period in early 1920 when many americans do die of influenza and pneumonia and two of my great-grandparents are among them. so i always assumed that they were part of the flu pandemic until i found out they died in 1920. i thought well, maybe they
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weren't howard markel at the university of michigan suggested to me that there may be sort of a fourth wave that happens then that winter of 19 19 20 or it's the first wave of seasonal flu and one of the questions i know we'll get to is whatever happened to the spanish flu. well, it's still around the descendants many of our seasonal flu today are actually descendants of that virus from 1918. and what happens is it, you know. that shifts again as it had in the fall of 1918. it does it again, so it becomes less deadly and less infectious and sort of peters out, but it doesn't disappear. it continues to be a part of the the influenza world so to speak. okay, next question. how did the news report about the 1918-19 influenza? how different was it then and now? i think nancy already gave one of the best examples which is
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again that spain did some wonderful journalism and that's incredibly important as remsey can attest the importance of of good journalism in in the world, and they wanted to get that information out there in spain. i think it was part of the royal family that had come down with it and they felt it was imperative that it was and it was kind of their their moral responsibility to let the rest of the world know that this thing was occurring and and that is not necessarily the case for other spaces that had a greater censorship on their newspapers and in the like the united states doesn't have the same level of censorship as what's happening in britain or in france. and so that's that's the first big big answer on that one nancy. i think you've got more right? well, no, it's one of the things that's that's really remarkable is and i'm often asked this question that did they just not have as good of information and
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it's true that the information traveled much more slowly right? there wasn't a 24/7 news cycle, but even the smallest towns would often have one or two weeklies. so everybody pretty much most americans in the contiguous states would have had access to a newspaper and it would include international news it would tell about you know, how many people are dying in germany in england? and what happened to the queen's sister and it would include what's happening in deer creek and what's happening down the road at white plain and then next to that what's happening, right? it would have the really localized stories about, you know, so-and-so's daughter who moved away to maryland seems to have passed from the flu farmer jones down. the street was sick and his three children. ill it was really closely documented in the newspapers with a lot of really terrific information. it's before everything was digitized newspapers were one of the most important sources for
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gaining access into how you know, literally what happened and that the newspaper reporting has been really important and influential in our understanding and again because people still had news it just didn't travel quite as quickly, but it was pretty good news a pretty or well done news. i should say the news was very bad, obviously. that's true. um, you know, we've got again and these are images. thanks to thanks to our library partners and who are a partners within this program this evening, but you got some really good examples here. no program for combating the flu. i think we should use that one earlier but really taking a look at the the different different levels of reporting as we're going through the number of claims. pardon me. there we go, and right so you can see in some ways that similarity because you get the daily update just like we do today, right? so topeka still in the clutches of the flu epidemic continues
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spread 180 new cases, december 2nd, december 3rd, 200 new cases reported yesterday. so you have this same level of pretty pretty expansive amount of information that you can get and report in within 24 hours which in some ways isn't bad having a day to be able to process that information and is is not necessarily a bad as not necessarily a bad thing and really to support what nancy said there's a lot of importance and and in some ways we're losing. we're losing a real resource and in information when we're losing our smaller newspapers and when they might be getting bought out and the like we've got you see different examples. these are not necessarily all small newspapers, by the way. in case you're joining us from outside of the missouri, kansas area. let me make that part clear for
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you here and you can notice to all that there's constant conversation about what are the rules. what are you allowed to do? should we write thinking of such a move soon about closing the state a constant? conversation and controversy really about what public health measures should be taken. when should they be taken? how long should they last when can they be lifted? hmm and you can see right here speaking to it. nancy was talking about earlier about this idea of a potentially a fourth wave, right? this is february of 1920 and still how how it's affecting communities. and as that's going along and some of you have asked the question was about the globally how is that? what did that look like? here's another really good example of from the scotland herald right of encouraging folks to do what they needed to do what they needed to do to try to stop the spread of the stop the spread the pandemic okay.
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and how did the flu pandemic end in 1920? when as i mentioned before so influenza is a virus that moves very quickly. it's one of the reasons right that it's so difficult to get the flu shot right because they have to decide ahead of time. which virus they think will be most important so they can produce this vaccine for us by the time flu season run comes around that may no longer that virus may have already drifted off into some other virus and at the shot won't be effective at all. so it's a virus that's constantly changing and that's what happens. is it continues to change and at some point either, you know with the end of the winter wave in 1919 or the end of the winter wave in 1920. it it drifts enough to no longer be so infectious and so deadly because it's interest it's interest. i'm often criticized for anthropomorphizing viruses. i can't help myself. they did not have motivation. the one thing viruses do need to
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do though is to replicate themselves, which means they need victims, but they don't care whether the victim gets really sick. they don't care whether the victim they just need to be able to reproduce themselves and so at some point it it drifts enough that it just ceases to be a pandemic scale virus, but it does i say did persist and is there's a wonderful piece by jeffrey talbenberger who is one of the i can put it in the chat. he's one of the people who mapped the genome of the 1918 virus and he has a great piece called the once and future virus and it's about the ways in which the 1918 virus really is still with us. it never went away fully. still needed and we've got a really nice quote here about the influenza waves in kansas. there were no waves in the 1920 outbreak the disease quickly reached its peak to find a disappeared, but there was no armistice to celebrate as well. so whether or not so this comes from a kansas state board of
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health epidemiologist, but you can see how this actually contradicts a little bit of some of the conversation and some of the things that you were seeing a little bit earlier and a little bit earlier as well. and hmm, so in candy specifically and thanks to kansas state library and we've got a very specific outline of from deaths and death toll and i think did you have more and i apologize. did you have more on that particular question nancy? no, but someone has just putting the chat and call attention to it that there's a thing online called the influenza encyclopedia. it was created by scholars at the university of michigan and they've done stories on 50 different american cities and given that we have an audience from all over the country. you may be interested in what
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happened in new york or what happened in louisiana or what happened in oregon. and as i say 50 different cities, they have a multi-paragraph story sort of a an overview of what happened and then they have a timeline so you can look literally day by day by day and then they have links to lots and lots of newspaper articles from that particular cities press so depending on where you're from, you may find out a fun place to go to see what happened in your community during the pandemic again, it's only 50 cities, but it's an incredible resource put together. i really good scholars. so if they've done a lot of the work for you if you want to go find out about your own if not your hometown, perhaps you can find a town somewhere near you. and i would be remiss if i didn't at this moment also say depending upon where you're joining us from take a look at your local libraries, and there are a lot of incredible resources there. i'm reach out to a librarian. they are superheroes of
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information and can point you into some really good spaces always of course, feel free to reach out to us as well and to our everton's research center, but wherever you are located there is likely just a treasure trove of information and there may not be memorials to that as a matter of fact, i'm fairly certain. there are not a lot of flu pandemic memorials around the united states and something that makes this unique is that this pandemic is layered on top of this. destructed horrific catastrophic global war and so sometimes and i'll say this as a caveat for some of the questions that may come up on the real specificity of exact numbers of like it's hard to tell sometimes and where to put and you know, where do you put a number when you were serving and for your nation and you die of the flu, so there's
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there's some difficulty with exact statistics and then at the same time there's a whole other layer of and just lost that in this time frame. okay. and what are the most important things? do you think that we've learned since the 1918 pandemic? nancy that's our that's such a guy that is such a great question and i i'll admit here my own biases clear that i regret that i think there are things we didn't learn that led to like, i think we haven't learned to take seriously prevention and preparation for this kind of thing. we knew there would be a pandemic of some sort. we expect it to be influenza frankly, but we weren't
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adequately prepared and we haven't put sufficient reason again, this is my own opinion, but my sense as we really need to put more resources into preparation. so for instance a more robust system for developing vaccines where you could use for instance the national laboratories a better preparation plan locally nationally and globally and i think that in part that comes from lessons that went unlearned that we really didn't change our public health processes in the country hardly at all and many countries did the united states did not but one of the things i think we did learn and that's super important is all the scientific research that's been done since so we can see viruses now and we know how the virus works and as a result we have a vaccine which is just a stunning accomplishment and how quickly it was done beyond anyone's guess which again is that is a stunning accomplishment of the federal government for which i'm deeply grateful. another thing. i think we learned was as a
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result of what they went through we know some things about what to do. someone asked a question fact about the taking care of patients were so much better prepared medically to manage the disease now and that's saving a lot of lives. we have an antibiotics now, which they didn't have in 1918 so many of the secondary infections that people died from in 1918 like bacterial pneumonia we can actually deal with now so scientifically we've advanced so many stages beyond what they you know, what they all were hoping for and dreaming of in 1918 so much of that we've actually accomplished, but we didn't change a lot of other things related to how we provide health care and how we deal with the public health care system in the country. and again, that's a very politically charged question. i recognize so i'll just i'll stop there. i'll pick it up by saying neither nancy nor i our medical professionals and somebody asked the question. what's the best thing that
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what's the what's our best advice for staying healthy today? and i would say it is listening to your medical professional. um, not your historian as far as you are health is concerned though. we are a lot of fun to listen to a couple of folks who you might be interested in following michael ulster home from the university of minnesota and powell casangian are both epidemiologists who do work in this area and then they also focus in on history as well dr. casangian actually had a lecture recorded two years ago called influences threat then and now couldn't recommend it more highly it's also terrifying when you get to the last part. i sat through it the first time live. and then you really appreciate just how spot on dr. kusangian was so you can find that at our
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youtube channel, which is if you go to the world war ig in the upper right hand corner, and you can really kind of delve into a little bit more of that. what could we have learned from the science perspective and they're at that particular lecture just type in flu, and if you go to our page the world war ig in the upper right hand corner. there's a youtube link click on that a little u2 symbol click on that just type in fluid in our channel. it'll pop up that's that's one of those for me as well. we spend a lot of time with letters. um one of my favorites and i'm afraid i'm not gonna quote it correctly or directly directly right now is actually it's a wonderful i believe his name is ernest. mckay might be how it's pronounced and it's just this wonderful series of letters that he's writing back and forth to his wife and daughter and he serves overseas and then he comes back and they're debating
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whether or not she should come and visit over the holidays and he literally starts off this letter of i'm not sure that you should do this. if you do be sure to get the best car that you can wear a veil. it's just a wonderful and that we have these letters so i would say one of those key things to that we can learn is how important it is to tell the people we love that. we love them and to be sure to engage in that i would also say kind of from a museum perspective and keeping those diaries capturing your personal experiences. that's how all of this informs right? all of these other books the book that nancy wrote right all of this comes from these personal experiences and as we're losing some of our some of our amazing local newspapers. well as they might be bought out
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by other spaces we don't have the access to that and certainly there are other spaces and technological places for you to be sharing that but take the time to share that information and and the like, i think that's that's another really important thing. and if your local historical society or like local library or archive is doing a collection and invites you to tell your story of the pandemic don't hesitate if you've got a story to tell that's one of the things that's been really uplifting for me is seeing the real attention to getting the story recorded during this pandemic precisely because we realize how many voices we didn't have from 1918 and trying to avoid that this time. so on my little island where i live there the historical society until we got into the most recent spike. we were doing oral histories and trying to hit, you know, first the medical providers people who are doing testing and then who's working at the grocery store and and on through the school kids trying to get all those voices that you know, 100 years from now will be really helpful as
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people are trying to make sense of it from the future. so tell your story. okay, and are there any additional resources that you would recommend for people who want to find out as much as possible about the pandemics? i absolutely and i'm gonna i'm gonna kick this one off and i would say that one of and and one of you was kind of to even i here's the man love you were the person if you are still watching this. thank you for telling us that this was a great resource and that you watched it in preparation for this. we have a resource called how world war when changed america you can find it at ww one change or wwi change desk.org. we've got a whole series of seven minute or less videos as well as teacher resources and videos podcasts lesson plans
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primary source stuff that you can assign from them to for them to do from their home if you would like that is available. there's also and i believe this is what sherman at the beginning there's a lovely resource list that includes literature that includes fiction. section that is there on next kansas dot org and it is there listed under that. we've been here before suggested reading list one of you asked did the flu influence? the arts as much as the war did really good question and it's difficult to really pull apart because those two events layer on top of each other. i would say that certainly the war influenced some writers in a very different way. you've got right winnie the pooh tolkien cs lewis, all of these folks who really spend some time and and they're writing is in some way away for them to
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process their experiences as well. but you've got some wonderful things to be looking at there for in that and that spectacular reading list. so do take a look if you are in and around the kansas area and thank you so much for emailing me about this take a look at pandemic on the prairie. it's a podcast about the intersection of public health cultural history and war in kansas. you can see the web address right up there nancy. i'm not mistaken. you're one of the first you're one of the first episodes. yeah, and i believe john barry is also part of it and i there i suspect several other scholars involved with it. they were doing real nice work. yeah, so take a look at that also take a look at nancy's book american pandemic the lost worlds of the 1918 influenza an epidemic. we talked about a couple of other things as well that i think have been listed in we've been trying to fill that into chat and hopefully you are getting that in the facebook
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live chat as well nancy other resources you suggest yeah. i popped my two favorite pieces that if you want to just get a sense of the lived experience of it in some ways the the there's two semi autobiographical novellas that are just terrific and i put both in the chat one is william maxwell's they came like swallows. he would go on to be a very well known rider and editor of the new york or for years and years and he was a child when and i won't, you know spoiler. he was a child when his family face the pandemic. i'll just say that and he tells that story from the perspective of different family members and it's a powerful powerful beautiful book and the catherine and porter who was a journalist at i'm living in denver, and she also had influenza and she does a semi out about graphical novella as well about her own illness and that of her beloved adam and it's all bound up with the war and it's very effective on the sort of mental phase the psychological complexity of the how hard it was on the patient
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in terms of what it did to their minds and how their minds work. those are my two just my favorite favorite pieces and and great reads and not very long and then there are lots of good scholarly books out there gina colada if you're interested in the search for the virus itself, her book flu deals with that and it's just a masterful piece if you're interested in what happened in the military given that it starts at a military camp and the camps are really hard hit by it. carol byron lee has a very good book called fever of war that deals with the pandemic in the in the ranks of the military for the us as well. and then laura spinney's pale horse, which is one of the newest books came out for the 100th day. student it's an international history and again, really a beautifully done book by a very well known international journalist. i think she hails from england lives in paris and wrote this beautiful book. that's just one of the newest books i think on the pandemic i am also i have not had the opportunity to read these but
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two other things that were suggested to me. we're marilyn holt. she wrote some great articles pertaining to the spanish influenza for kansas history. so take a look at that if you are looking more for the kansas angle on this also, someone asked a couple people actually have some really good questions about orphans in and around this time frame and we would specifically encourage you to take a look at ellie vance's thesis that she put out in 2019 on the spanish influenza pandemic of 1918 a defining characteristic in the life in history of the american family. also if you are around the kansas city area, we would encourage you to take a look at the strawberry hill museum. they've got some really nice information about specific some things specific to this to our to our region. yeah, and one thing to be said about the orphans it's a wonderful question, especially for this. academic one thing we didn't talk about was the that this took it was in one of your
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charts that covid is taking a specially the elderly which is what we expect with this kind of illness influenza traditionally takes the very young and the very old but this particular influenza 50% of the deaths in the united states where people between the ages of 20 and 40 aka parents, so huge numbers of orphaned children my as i say my own grandfather lost his parents in a four-day five-day span between february 24th and february 29th. he lost two parents a 15 year old who goes from just being a kid with a family and over the course of less than a week. it becomes an orphan and an adult. i mean it just and he's one of literally thousands of young to whom that happened. good lord, somebody just put in the chat. i had talked to someone a hundred and four years old who lost both of their parents on the same night. can you even oh my god. and you guys can all see why i
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always enjoy having conversations with dr. nancy bristow. so a couple of other a couple of other questions that i see here. we've got just a moment or two. has anyone stayed the transfer property in other assets that occur because the flu as a lot of really good economic questions that were asked nancy do you by chance have a i don't it's a wonderful question and the issue around the economics of the pandemic and it's aftermath are just now being studied with obviously significant interest. there were some early studies that suggested that the same communities that had low death rates also recovered economically more quickly, but this was very preliminary work. so i don't know if that's been born out over the last few months with additional research or not, but the questions around the economics of this earlier pandemic i think will be of even greater interest now, but no i'm not well schooled in that i'll be honest. i'm even less when economist than i am an epidemiologists. barb jensen asked what us city
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fared the best the fewest deaths from 1918 and which also kind of begs the question. is there one that feared the worst. the worst is is probably pittsburgh. and/or philadelphia both have just disastrous catastrophic experiences with that in philadelphia is always the story that gets told because they hold a liberty loan parade just as the pandemic is hitting them and so like three days later that i have 600 plus new cases it just and it's the beginning of a terrible experience with the pandemic in philadelphia in part. that's not their fault. they were one of the really early cities so in general western cities do better than eastern cities because they have more time and they have the experience of other cities to look at some of the cities that do really well milwaukee wisconsin does really well. they had a very quote progressive as in the progressive era public health system that they really developed over the preceding 10 or 15 years. they're really well prepared for
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it. put a lot of measures in place to have a very low death rate seattle does very well. there's several cities in the west to do. nibbly well and then several cities in the east that as i say have just catastrophic experiences. and i'll answer a couple of other fast questions and then if you're willing to stand for just a few more bets we can officially close but santa answer a few more of the in-depth questions that we have here. andrea asked how were individuals with severe respiratory conditions treated since they couldn't wear a mask. i would say that in many cases the masks weren't as they just were made at the same material that they are today, so they weren't as effective. but also if someone had a really significant respiratory issue and that wouldn't necessarily have been a problem. i i happen to think of and that your question triggers something like gas sort of damage and things along that line and and most likely that's not somebody
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who would be going out and about and doing some of those other things they wouldn't need to be they wouldn't be out trying to or being in those spaces i think with some of those ordinances it could be wrong and i really haven't into some of the protests of masks nancy. do you have more? know only that again because you either sick or you how can i put this those who are really sick often? you'll see that the caregivers are wearing masks, but those who the patients often are not. and i don't know the storyline behind that but you're right. this is a respiratory illness. so the idea of putting a mask on people who are literally if you're dying from the spanish flu you are you are drowning in your own bodily fluids. so breathing is is so belabored that those people would not have generally been wearing masks as my sense at least from looking at the photographs. that's what the photographic record seems to say. and jerrica asked what it says, it would be lovely to have a list of all the recommended readings mentioned in this program. we will do our best.
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to get those together and i know that we have several librarians who are a part of this conversation here tonight. so i'm hopeful that someone has been tracking all of the different things that we've also just kind of thrown out along the way and somewhere between the leavenworth county public library, which is one of the spaces that is showcasing this on facebook live as well as the national world war i museum and memorial facebook page. we will certainly do our best sometime soon to get that information out there. all right. well as it is 803 we want to officially thank all of you for being a part of our conversation. i think ramsey are you available for just a few more minutes to yes more questions fabulously. would you be willing okay another family zoom call coming
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and they won't be surprised. i'm often late. to all of you who have joined us. thank you the most valuable thing that you can share with us is your time and we are so appreciative that you use your time to engage in conversations of history and on the enduring impact of world war one, there's lessons that we can learn because in some ways we have been here before and there are things that have occurred in the past that can help inform and create gracious. and interesting funny conversations for the present and inform our our science and and how we keep moving forward and i apologize to keep hitting my keyboard. i also want to say thank you to our libraries for whom i will not name all of them. but for those you all i if you belong to one of the libraries, i must say you've got to be so
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proud. it is such a delight to be able to work with them all they work together so very well you are truly lucky and wherever you are if you do not have your library card go get it. you most likely have an incredible treasure right there. and so do do renew that check out dr. nancy. bristow's book if you or any of the other resources that are available and feel free to stay on in the kind of post conversation where we're gonna address a couple more of the questions again. thank you all so very much for joining us for our conversation. all right, so i think we do have a couple more. thank you for those of you who are staying on man. there's a lot of you 150 plus of you who are staying on with us?
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that's delightful. um, all right, wait, we've answered jerica's questions our statement right there dean dunn asks, are there any records of mental health consequences of the pandemic? it's such a great question, and i think we know much less than i wish we did but it's very clear that that mental health was often a sequel. it was often a consequence of this pandemic that this particular illness would lead to depression for many people. sometimes i suppose it was situational because terrible things were happening right? we're in the midst of war with midst of a global pandemic we all know how difficult that is to manage. but also that there seem to be a physiological connection to mental health and so a lot of mental health trouble in the aftermath, i think one of the things that we didn't understand then was post traumatic stress disorder and i think of the caregivers and this was a very traumatic illness to witness. it was an ugly disease to put it to put be blunt. i won't go into the grossness of a trust me.
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it was an awful thing to see and so we don't have an awareness and so there's not a recording of that and it's one of the things i wish if i could go back in time. it's one of the things i'd like to know more about it's wonderful question and i like the way you framed it because i think it's one of the things we can be thinking about now. that's something we can do better i think than they did in 1918 and that's to really attend to the well-being of those of us in our communities who have suffered who've gone through laws who've been sick themselves and having this have the space to listen to them to feel for them. and with them i think will be a important role that all of us can play as we come eventually into the aftermath of this. so i really appreciate that question. lindsay asks for school still in session in the 1918 pandemic because they didn't have the ability to do online school. i you know, they they were in session and then at times they were not in session somewhere upwards of and we gave the example with the kansas letters upwards of a month for some
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school. so it really does just depend upon your different your different community lovely lovely. thanks for that and chicago and new york did not close their schools because they believed in the population and the large number of recently arrived immigrants in particular that the best way to get public health information out to the public was through the school children who were english speakers and so both of those large school districts decide to stay open because they thought that they could do better public health education through those school districts, then they could if they closed them down very controversial always a huge debate in every community about whether to close or stay open bruce from much more finite. of time so it made it possible to close down. the other thing is for many communities. it was during the winter holiday. it might have fallen over the christmas new year's period often that was when some of the worst wave or they could be closed and then extended a couple of weeks because they were already going to be on holiday. yeah.
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a teacher asked about the resource. this is the copy of it right here. so you can email education at the world war ig and beth. kornegay. i we were prepared for a portion of this question about orphans. we didn't have a chance to really dig into that very specifically feel free to email specifically or if someone else has a question about this to education at the world war ig, cherie kelly did some very specific deep dives for you in some of this and we would love to share that with you as well. and so thank you for those questions remsy. i think you had a couple of other questions as well. i do one of them is what was the overall effect of the pandemic in 1918 on the us economy. was it as bad as now or such a hard one because you can't
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separate out the war and the pandemic so you have the demobilization from the war and we have what was always described as a post-war recession. and now we're all asking ourselves to what extent was that a post-warpost pandemic recession in other words. what role did the pandemic play? and i don't think we know the answer to that question yet, but it's a really important one. one thing that again is really different is things just weren't closed for as long of a time period so the kinds of economic impacts were different than they are today and much more of a localized economy much less of an internationally economy. so again, it's a really different situation and one about which i know very little okay. and one question i have is did president wilson actually have any kind of a medical expert like dr. fauci who he could get
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advice from or speak to journalists to? try to explain what was going on. yeah, dr. rupert blue the surgeon general was instrumental. he was the primary voice for the spreading of public health information during the pandemic and then that would be complemented by state and local public health leadership. the thing that's so strange about wilson is that he literally never speaks about it to the american public so he may be getting information, but he certainly not sharing it. he is getting information because he talks with people about whether to cancel the liberty loan whether to slow troop movements, but he's unwilling to slow down because the war is in its closing stages and he is determined to get the war done. okay. but here's a really good example of how right surgeon general blue doesn't necessarily use woodrow wilson as his as the speaking point he is going to the he's going straight to
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journalists and to share this information or it may be that they are going to have good question. from one of our participants and i would love to ask this question and nancy. it's gonna have to be to you. it was the very first question. we got mary lancaster. i believe you're still on. thank you so much for that. so she asked this very specific questions. so when we say 675,000 died then of course that is just 48 states, correct? what about in other us territories? i assume those were added somewhere else and of course we didn't have hawaii in alaska great question. i'm gonna start by saying we had the real honor to work with the anchorage museum over the summer and we had a an expert who is also from a tribe as well who spoke to this specifically you
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can find out more about that lecture again go to our youtube channel just type in flu. and it will pop up and you can find out more about the alaska experience and that is just the resource i can give that is a lot more comprehensive than what i could speak to but nancy, you know a lot more about this than i do what and it's a it's a great question and again one of the things that's really hard is the record keeping was different in 1918 than it is now and as you show showed us, right each community is keeping track but influenza wasn't even a reportable disease when the pandemic begins so the numbers are really the 675,000 to be clear is a once a complete gas, but it's really a guesstimate as are the worldwide figures. we just don't know for sure, but you're absolutely right that we're talking about the united states as it was configured at that time. it's not including the philippines. where there you go cuba these
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places that were actually at that point had been annexed by the united states or were american colonies. those are not i assume included in those figures, but it's a great question. i'm not sure. i know the other thing i was going to say is the figure 675 needs to be handled with care because in any given traditional year more than 100,000 people would have died of influenza anyway, so it's about 550,000 excess deaths. so about half a million people die more than would have normally died from the flu. so again, the numbers are really sketchy their best guesses and people have done really hard work to make good guesses. but again, we don't have information from a lot of places. go ahead. i think ramsay. i think i cut you off before. okay. i was wondering okay as far as
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how covid-19 has affected different demographic groups such as race income level and age. did the same thing happen in 1918? that's one of the things that's really hard to know because the record keeping was was really problematic. so depending on which newspaper you read and which public health report you read you can get arguments that say african-american's died in higher numbers and african-american died in lower numbers. what we do know is that access to health care was deeply influenced by the jim crow system so that we know that people of color in general didn't have the same access to emergency hospitals or to public nurses. that would have been going door to door to help out families. we know that poor families without a social safety net. we're much more likely to end up hungry maybe to end up homeless to have to put children into orphanages, even when the parents were still alive, so we don't have data on death rates
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that is secure enough to trust and yet they're do seem to be reports that suggest the black community had a lower. a morbidity and mortality rate that some people suggest may be accurate enough to work with and then you have to ask questions about well, so what is that about and there's all kinds of guesses having to do a segregation having to do with rural populations having to do with people already infected early in the cycle. we just don't know very much so we just don't have the same good data. what we do know, is that the experience of it was much harder if you were person of color or a poor american or worst case scenario both of those things the tribal communities by the way also suffered very badly and that we know pretty definitively okay. there was a great question from dan here about how did the ramadan said of the disease and
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otherwise young healthy adults? and end of life symptoms impact people's fear in 1918. again, that's really difficult thing. to address because like today where where we've got our pandemic and a variety of other things that are all kind of occurring at the same time. you have this pandemic, but you also have this again global catastrophic for this fear of socialism the rise of the red scare all of these things are kind of intermingling political economic social all of those things might be contributing to people's fear. and so that's a really good question and a difficult one to answer. there's also a question from will who is joining us on facebook live who said nursing who is asking a question about nursing. how did nursing change as the consequence of the 1918 pandemic and i'm first just gonna say some of it is going to be because of all of the the
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tremendous changes that occur in nursing because old world one. i want to expand that question just a little bit because that is a moment that vastly changes the profession and i was very lucky to work with ku medical center and george thompson to help bring a symposium again. we've got i think two lectures on the website on the youtube channel that looks very specifically and unpacks some of this. that's my short answer a lot of my answers are just there's an another expert you can really do a deep dive with at our youtube channel, but nancy bristow, and you've got more answers. well, and mine is actually a more a higher level answer. so it's less about the practice of nursing then it is about the status of the profession and women's experiences as nurses one of the things that's really important to remember is that gender norms were much stricter in 1918. and so nursing was almost
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exclusively a female profession and medicine doctor. was a much almost exclusively medical profession at that historical moment. so for physicians, this was a disastrous episode really crushing to professional pride for some of the physicians because they can't do what they're supposed to do, which is fix it stop. it cure people. so for many people it's really additional illusioning and depressing situation. whereas for nurses. it's fascinating to read letters diaries school yearbooks from nursing schools where they'll talk about, you know, so awful to see the sick people, but then after work, we had jolly good times or it was really awful, but it sure felt good to make good as a nurse or i really feel like a woman as a raw as arrived. they could feel good about what they were doing. they were fulfilling their role as a nurse and they were fulfilling their role as a woman through that nursing. so for many nurses and for the nursing profession, it was a real a boost in a sense for them
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professionally and they had just a very different sort of overarching experience of what they did and what happened during the pandemic. i think they leave the war and the pandemic combined with much higher status. they're really celebrated nurses who die or talked about as being just as brave as the soldiers and the trenches and so there really is a fair amount of public cultural and obviously also political status that's gained as a result of the war and the pandemic together. kiana smith asks was pandemic denial a thing in 1918 the way that covid denial is a thing today were there people who insisted that the flu was a hoax from a museum memorial perspective. i don't have any archival sources that suggest that and i do have we've got resources that do say that people didn't want to they they didn't want to abide by ordinances and then those same kind of tensions that arise about you know, where
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where do you just priorities and it's economics, right? who where do you take the opportunity cost? but i don't have any evidence many archival evidence and it looks like yeah nancy. no the one thing that that you do see there's one population for christian scientists. actually, they believe that it's not a hoax, but they believe that it's being caused that the fear itself is causing the illness because they understand and here i i'll be very careful because i'm not a christian scientist, but they use the language that right christian science is it's christ's scientist is the church's name, right? and so the belief has to do it that having the right relationship with god, which is a very studied relationship is how one stays healthy and so it's because that relationship has is flawed that people aren't in the right mindset with god. that's what causes illness and so they believe that all the
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public health measures are actually making people worse that the wearing of masks is causing people to be fearful, which is causing them to get sick and i had letters for instance between a mother and a son or things published in the christian science monitor and published also in local newspapers about the resistance of christian scientists to the restrictions and their belief that all those restrictions were only making things worse, but that's a very small population which are very distinctive theology that led them to those those perspectives. we allen broome asked the question at some point would love to hear what preventative efforts were different in 1918 versus now, i would say potentially one of them that was effective that we have come back to is this desire to be back outside and be an open spaces. i think all of us have experienced a lot more time in our city national state parks
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recently and those were celebrated and new at the time. so i think that there was a greater emphasis on kind of being and outdoorsman and an outdoors woman back at the time which we are coming back to that's one of the the few things that i might be able to go to as far as preventative efforts. there's some interesting things that folks do with food as well. that may not have been quite as effective in trying to prevent the flu. they also encourage you not to or eat not to over drink. so both of those are probably sound notarely again against the flu pandemic. they did also suggest to not kiss or people you didn't know all that well, so again effective, but i don't know if that is that's not really speaking exactly to your speaking to your question. yeah, and the other thing that's going on, right is this is the era of patent medicines right? so things that the week before
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the spanish flu arrives is being sold as something that will ease your joint pain when the flu hits suddenly it's being sold to solve that's going to cure influence or it's going to make you get better quickly and there's just scads of these newspaper articles are advertisements for instance about all these different things that will will save you from the flu which of course didn't and then the folk traditions that laura was speaking to earlier. there is the largest array from breathing in the fumes of boiling red peppers to as a feta necklaces to a diet filled with only onion to and you could go on and on and on with the things that people and who knows again. i'm not in a position to know for sure what did and didn't help because part of a course is going to be psychological and dude did the fact that you were able to do something make you feel a little bit better. i don't know so i won't i won't poo poo what people chose to do if it made them feel a little bit more hopeful and less depressed. go for that onion diet if you need to.
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right now you can do that because without your sense of smell you can go ahead and eat an onion, right? so my nephew had covid and and lost a sense of taste and smell and sent me a video of him eating a raw onion a whole thing. this is so awful, but he could do so he's proving just how sick he was by sending us this video, but they were doing that 1918, too. now not sending videos. they were not sending videos in 1918, but eating onions, absolutely and if you want to find that onion soup recipe that is available on our online collections database. you just look up allied cookery. i actually i know all of our cookbooks all of our recipes. there's a really great tamale recipe as well if you really start doing your digging in our online collections database, but the cookbook that the onion soup comes from allied cookery is really delightful. we all have an online exhibition called warfare it's a culinary exploration of world war. i needed gluten-free cupcake chocolate cupcake recipe we have you covered buddy.
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it is almost 30 minutes past time. so nancy i cannot begin to thank you enough for sharing your expertise your time your humor with us this evening laura. thank you, you know anything i can do for the public libraries. i'm always available and i really mean that the public libraries and the librarians that run them. are a national and local treasure as is the world war i memorial and museum. so again, it's just an honor and privilege to be with all of you and have a chance to talk about these things that all of us are thinking about and worrying about and having the chance to be together. i think it lifts the spirits a bit. so thank you very much for including me. thank you and rimsy. thank you so much. not only for being a part of the conversation and kind of bringing the spine of our questions but also for the work that you do as a journalist in the community as a historian i can say it is so important to have these stories and to have that facts and information that
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is published in communities around the nation. so, thank you so very much for what you are doing at the platte county citizen and very much. and to all of you who are listening again. thank you. i'm actually gonna give the last word to an epidemiologist. i know dr. john cafardi, so to those of you who have asked for other good information the last word goes to an epidemiologist in cincinnati, ohio who suggests these three things avoid the three c's crowded closed spaces with poor ventilation crowded places with many people nearby and close contact settings such as close range conversations. it's the type of thing that you could have seen in a chromolithography ad back in world war i in so many ways but good advice stands the test of
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time ladies and gentlemen again. thank you so much for joining us whether it's live or in the recording. we really value being a part of your lives and conversation. have a wonderful wonderful evening. weeknights this month. we're featuring american history tv programs as a preview of what's available every weekend on c-span 3 wednesday night. we look at crime and forensics bruce goldfarb author of 18. tiny deaths the untold story of frances glessner lee and the invention of modern forensics shows us several dollhouse-sized crime scenes that are used for training classes in the chief medical examiner's office of maryland. he relates the story of ms. lee who constructed the dioramas in the mid-1940s at harvard university and who helped pioneer the science of crime scene investigation. watch wednesday beginning at 8pm eastern and enjoy american
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history tv every weekend on c-span 3. american history tv on c-span 3 every weekend documenting america's story funding for american history tv comes from these companies who support c-span 3 as a public service. next on american history tv california state university professor andrew stoner talks about his biography of author and journalist randy shilts who covered the hiv/aids epidemic for the san francisco chronicle and died of aids in 1994 professor stoner describes, mr. schultz work to bring gay culture and issues to mainstream media indy reads books in indianapolis hosted this event. good evening, and welcome to indy reads books for those that aren't familiar with us.

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