Just the Flu or an International Slow Motion Train Wreck?

Opinion

Spanish Flu Pandemic 1818
Spanish Flu Pandemic 1818

USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- It is only the Flu. These are the famous words of the political leaders of the day, in 1917-1918 while large populations of the world were dying. They called it the Spanish Flu pandemic.

Pandemic means an epidemic that spreads over a wide area. It was incorrectly named because World War I was going on and the governments on both sides had censorship of the news. Spain was not at war and their newspapers reported the latest information on the pandemic as it was occurring. Because most of the timely and accurate information was coming from that country people wrongfully thought Spain started the whole thing.

It is most likely that the 1917 Great Influenza epidemic started in Kansas and was taken to an army camp by some young men who were joining up to fight, now that the US had entered the war. Military bases and college campuses are some of the worst places to be if there is an easily spread disease around, especially if it is passed on by coughing and sneezing. People go from living in lots of open space of the family home to the very confined space of a crowded dormitory room or a military barrack.

The practice of medicine in 1917 was not what it is today. Many doctors of the time attended medical schools that did not require the student to have an undergraduate degree. Some doctors graduated from medical school without ever seeing a live patient.

Also, because the US entered the First World War, the military had already done a very good job of screening for the better trained medical personnel and then drafting the most competent physicians in the country. This, unfortunately, left the older, less modern trained doctors, and the ones who attended questionable medical schools, to treat the sickening public.

A public that was about to start dying by the tens of thousands in this country and by the millions worldwide leaving ruination everywhere.

The death rate had been reported as high as 40 million back during the epidemic and has been revised over the years to approximately 100 million. According to John M. Barry who wrote the book The Great Influenza #add, it killed more people in twenty-four weeks than AIDS killed in twenty-four years.

Most people in the US at the time were directly affected by the Flu. If not as a patient themselves, then by a family member, close friend or neighbor who suffered and died. My great-grandparents and all but their oldest daughter (to include my grandfather) contracted the Flu. My great aunt nursed the entire family back to good health then contracted the Flu herself and died

I first heard that story in the 1950s when we would go to Missouri and visit my great-grandmother. Thirty-plus years after the pandemic the family was still talking about it as if it had just happened. It is different when you actually lose a family member in an epidemic vs. reading about it in the paper.

It would appear the US gave this lethal crisis to the world and as it developed the politicians and the military leaders not only turned a blind eye but withheld important information that would have allowed the public to prepare and react more efficiently. After all, it was only the flu.

President Wilson never publicly acknowledged that there ever was a flu. At the end of the war, he traveled to Europe and promptly contracted influenza himself. One of the effects of the flu in some patients is swelling in the brain. Even if you survive it can be a precursor to strokes later in life. President Wilson had a major debilitating stroke shortly after he returned to the US. But it was only the flu.

The October 2005 cover story for National Geographic was “The Next Killer Flu-Can we stop it?” The TV and print news are continually running stories about flu issues in Asia. There was the flu vaccine shortage the year before and that was for the regular normal (whatever that means) yearly flu. Between thirty, and fifty thousand Americans, die each year from flu. If you think the response to the hurricane disasters in the US has been slow to meet the public’s needs, that will pale in comparison if there is a pandemic outbreak. Remember people did not fly back in 1917. This time it will spread faster and be more deadly. Not if – but when.

The above column was written in 2005 but the facts still remain the same. Here we are fifteen years later and more depressing information about the 1917 pandemic have increased our knowledge of the death and destruction to society that world-wide health crises caused.

It was explained to me by those whose job it is to monitor all things China, that China is allegedly a never-ending source for providing pandemics to the rest of the world. It will start slow but it will grow and with our modern transportation systems it will spread exponentially as we have never seen before in history or modern times. When it hits sub-Saharan Africa, and it will with all the Chinese in those nations trying to establish a political beachhead, there will be no stopping it.

When it goes worldwide at the local level (your state or your town) it will not be about survivability. It has to be about operability. You cannot just survive as a state or a nation you have to be able to continue to operate as a society.

Federal, state and local governments have to be able to continue to function. Of course, there will be fewer capabilities in the area of services provided to the public and leadership will have to make the hard decisions as to what they can and cannot provide to the taxpaying residents.

Health care and safety in our communities will be the priority. The safety of those public servants there to help will become an issue. If firefighters are being attacked by desperate people when they try to respond to an emergency in a private home, future response times will increase. Dead or injured cops and firefighters impact the entire community.

If you want to get a visual education on how this could play out, watch the 2011 movie Contagion (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contagion_(2011_film). Hollywood worked really hard to make Contagion as accurate as possible. There is no comic relief in this move–just sadness.

The desperate and the dangerous will come out to prey on the weak, the unprepared and the stupid. Stupid will be a word you will hear a lot, as the unprepared, the untrained and those who failed to understand that not all of life's needs and answers come from inside a smartphone begin to suffer.

Non-perishable food and a survival firearm could become the two most important items to have on hand. Safe drinking water and the lack of it could be the primary motivator for demonstrated bad behavior on the part of even our most stalwart citizens and can lead them to cross over to the dark side if they or their loved ones are suffering. The problem is in our modern society of electricity and labor-saving devices it does not take much to generate perceived unbearable suffering for reasons my 1917 great grandparents did not know existed.

“If I cannot watch TV or spend hours online I will just die”, obviously my great grandmother did not know what either of those items were and did not miss them during the 1917-1919 influenza crisis.

“What do you mean I cannot just dial 911 and have all my police, fire and emergency medical needs taken care of in minutes–I am a taxpayer, why not?”

We have a lot more Americans living in densely packed big cities than in 1917. There are more automobiles to be driven out into the world and infect everyone a driver could meet on a small motor outing. Park your car and head to public transportation and you can infect even more.

It is time to stock up on medications. Over the counter, meds should be greatly enhanced in your home. If you are a heart patient, a diabetic or have some other serious long term medical problem, you must have extra supplies of your prescription medications on hand. Start making arrangements now.

If you are not proactive about your own safety, your health and your family's security you may become a statistic.

I am too old to have to live through a modern version of 1917-1919. I hope my observations and predictions are in fact incorrect and they carve on my headstone “he was wrong.”

No, President Wilson, it is not just the flu, this has the potential of being that slow-motion train wreck that will influence the world for years to come.

Stay healthy my friend and keep your powder dry.



Major Van Harl USAF RetAbout Major Van Harl USAF Ret.:

Major Van E. Harl USAF Ret., a career Police Officer in the U.S. Air Force, was born in Burlington, Iowa, USA, in 1955. He was the Deputy Chief of police at two Air Force Bases and the Commander of Law Enforcement Operations at another. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Infantry School.  A retired Colorado Ranger and currently is an Auxiliary Police Officer with the Cudahy PD in Milwaukee County, WI.  His efforts now are directed at church campus safely and security training.  He believes “evil hates organization.”  [email protected]

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Vern
Vern
8 months ago

Wuhan, China is the home of China’s biological warfare laboratories. Imagine that.

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
8 months ago
Reply to  Vern

, that is a good point. I have had some other conversations about that recently. Interesting the chicoms would keep WHO our for so long. We are in, now, so we will know soon.

Vern
Vern
8 months ago
Reply to  Wild Bill

I can remember when Bill Gates said they could control the world with vaccinations, this would be a good thing to vaccinate against, what else would be in the vaccination? The billionaires in the one world order club are ready to make their play for total control of the world, all they need is to pull the trigger to start the war under their plan. I read an outline of what their thoughts about that were a few years ago and there are “limited” nuclear exchanges included. Jesus spoke of the beginning of sorrow in Matt. 24, I believe we… Read more »

Jim
Jim
8 months ago
Reply to  Vern

Yup, just 20 miles from the city!

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
8 months ago

Another reason to flee the cities.

zeprin
zeprin
8 months ago

If A = the Great Crescent of Homelessness (Vancouver,BC>San Diego,CA)
And B = The Corona virus…. then A + B = ???????

HoundDogDave
HoundDogDave
8 months ago
Reply to  zeprin

A + B = DRT

Jim
Jim
8 months ago

HERE IS THE REAL DEAL: If this really takes hold here like the 1918 (which was worse in 1919) people MUST self isolate and try not to go out in public or have friends, family (especially the grand kids) over. Than means NOW laying in a supply of toilet paper, canned simple to fix back up meal foods like corn beef hash, chili, SPAM, canned chicken, fish, etc. (all canned foods are pre cooked so safe old or whatever). Dehydrated stuff nice for camping, not at home! Back up medicines a good idea if doc will prescribe. The silly masks… Read more »

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
8 months ago
Reply to  Jim

, Chicken soup x 3 per person per day. Orange juice one pitcher per day. Zicam on bottle per person, per two days. Cough medication one per person per day. Asperin, generic, lots.
And even if the Med Heads come up with an inoculation in time, the inoculation does not prevent being infected. It just gives your immune system a head start.

Jim
Jim
8 months ago
Reply to  Wild Bill

Gwd I hate to keep having to log in–Fredy must pay!

Anyway about this and other replys–it is a virus, food will not help do anything but possibly keep up energy before you break your back coughing. Flax seed and orange peel, good for cleaning gun barrels, non abrasive. The Russian factory workers in Moscow ate the grease from the wheel bearings once they ate their belts, SPAM will do just fine.

Dave in Fairfax
Editor
Dave in Fairfax
8 months ago
Reply to  Jim

Jim, Just a thought, are you accepting cookies and saving passwords for websites?

Dave in Fairfax
Editor
Dave in Fairfax
8 months ago
Reply to  Wild Bill

WB, Go with ibuprofen rather than aspirin. ASA and naprosyn/naproxen are both serious blood thinners and ASA chews up your stomach. Tylenol isn’t a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, just a pain killer, but ibuprofen does both. They all have side effects, but ibuprofen has the least and takes the longest to hurt you. If you start getting sores in your mouth or an upset stomach, cut back on the OJ. Be careful with cough meds that have dextromethorfan in them, the stuff has some bad side effects if you take too much. What you’re looking for is guaifenesin, it liquefies the crap… Read more »

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
8 months ago

, Good info. You have just been drafted in as the chief of the med staff.

Dave in Fairfax
Editor
Dave in Fairfax
8 months ago

OldVet, Yeah, what med people do is use a paper towel to turn faucets on/off and push the pump. Pretend everything has red paint on it and you don’t want to get any on you, That means pay attention to which side of the paper you are touching.

Dave in Fairfax
Editor
Dave in Fairfax
8 months ago
Reply to  Jim

USA, Funny, that’s how feel about rice 50 years later.

DonnyDucko
DonnyDucko
8 months ago

So long story short go out and buy garbage overpriced food in a bucket which is mostly oatmeal and pancake mix from my patriot supply or whomever is sponsoring this article when you should have been preparing for years like the Mormons do.

Dave in Fairfax
Editor
Dave in Fairfax
8 months ago
Reply to  DonnyDucko

Donny, I expect most of us have been. We invested in precious metals as well, brass and lead. Only the coastal Dems in my family don’t have supplies for months, The Mennonites, Quakers and Mormons make my pile look like I’m going on a picnic.

Ken
Ken
8 months ago

As a former longtime County Emergency Manager who worked hard on PanFlu plans ~2005-06, including Continuity of Govt. (CoG) and Continuity of Operations (CoO), I can attest to the issues described here. Limited manpower for all critical services and sectors (private and public) mean that it doesn’t take many sick to quickly degrade capabilities. Think public safety services, sanitation, water/sewer, utilities, critical goods (food, meds, etc.) production and distribution, health care, energy, etc. While plans called for cross-training personnel to back-fill some critical roles, it’s a pipe-dream. Mutual aid will be limited or non-existent for obvious reasons. On the plus… Read more »

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
8 months ago
Reply to  Ken

, good intel. thanks.

Dave in Fairfax
Editor
Dave in Fairfax
8 months ago
Reply to  Ken

Ken, I concur. Lots of family in various NGO and Gov groups that deal with emergencies. What frosts me is the lack of preparedness for an EMP as well.

The only upside is that mainly conservatives prepare for these things. If it does snowball, and I honestly expect it too, it’ll get ugly. With an infection window of 2 weeks before symptoms, the potential for spreading infection is astounding. Given the refusal of most people to self-isolate or stay there when their water or food runs out, the potential is catastrophic.

pieslapper
pieslapper
8 months ago

Captain Trips is on the way.

Bobtail
Bobtail
8 months ago
Reply to  pieslapper

One of only two books written by Steven King that are worth reading.

Desert Ranger
Desert Ranger
8 months ago

Great article. Personally I think that decongestants like Allegra D will be essential in this environment. I had a serious cold a few months ago that lingered and turned into a secondary infection in my lungs. The only thing that worked was 10 days of Doxycicline. While antibiotics will do nothing to treat a viral infection, it will be essential in treating secondary infections stemming from the snot running into your lungs.

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
8 months ago
Reply to  Desert Ranger

@Desert Ranger, Good intel. Got any idea how to get a supply of Doxycicline in advance?

Tionico
Tionico
8 months ago
Reply to  Desert Ranger

learn about and use essential oils. Many are anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-inflamatory, anti-fungal, break up mucus, and more. I’ve had no money for health care or insurance, and have used these to deal with every ailment, including some nasty cold/flu diseases that had friends out of commission for two weeks (healthy young friends) and when it comes my turn to “get it”, I hit it hard with te oils, and appropriate vitamins, and I’ll be “under the weather” for one,maybe two days, then fully functional as the sniffles and snot fade away over the next coupld of days. Learn about vitamin… Read more »

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
8 months ago
Reply to  Tionico

@Tio, Thanks for the info. Most informative!

Dave in Fairfax
Editor
Dave in Fairfax
8 months ago
Reply to  Tionico

Oldvet, You’re not going to like it. Niacin works well, but you have to build up a tolerance to each dosage level. If you can find a slow release form, Slo-Niacin, you’ll be happier. The thing is that when you take the 1/2 of the smallest dose(100mg as I remember) you’ll feel a burning, itching feeling on your skin. Take some ibuprofen. This is a 2 time a day thing with the total split into 2 doses . After it stops itching when you do it, take 100mg(50 mg AM and PM). Same deal with the ibuprofen. Up it to… Read more »

Wild Bill
Wild Bill
8 months ago
Reply to  Tionico

@OV, She!? Cool!

Larry
Larry
8 months ago
Reply to  Tionico

Glad you mentioned Pauling but everyone should know that Pauling’s valid work with vitamin C supplementation has been “falsified” by data distortions and lies, and he as a person (a double Nobel laureate) has been slandered as some deluded idiot by the criminal medical establishment and its countless quackwatch shills, lackeys, and trolls for decades and it continues today — read the scholarly essay “2 Big Lies: No Vitamin Benefits & Supplements Are Very Dangerous” by Rolf Hefti

But you can’t discredit the facts with lies. It only exposes and discredits the liars (see citation above).

Knute
Knute
8 months ago
Reply to  Desert Ranger

Have you tried silver colloids?