Thursday, 28 May 2020

Spanish flu 1918: The example of Denver shows to be as dangerous early loosening can

Several weeks of public life in Germany was virtually at a standstill, the spread of the Coronavirus curb. However, the longer the Lockdown persists, the louder the Calls for easing of exit restrictions. The first measures have already been taken there and back again: the shops are allowed to resume the operation, for certain vintages, the schools are open again, in some States services are to be allowed again. Experts see this development with concern and warn of a second wave of Infection, after Germany has controlled the Virus initially relatively well. “I regret to see in these days, so much so, that we are about to squander that advantage completely,” said the virologist Christian Drosten in his Podcast at NDR Info.

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How can a historical example from Denver. The capital of the U.S. state of Colorado was at the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic again and again as a reference for dealing with a deadly, highly contagious disease quotes. In 1918, at the time of the Spanish influenza, had responded to Denver quickly, with far-reaching restrictions of public life, and so much less Dead than other cities. But: After the lifting of the measures, there was a strong outbreak of the disease with many deaths, such as a graphic of the “Washingon Post” shows.

The Parallels between the Coronavirus and the Spanish flu: when can we lift the Lockdown?

The Denver of 1918 resembled the Germany in the year 2020. Also at that time a pandemic has kept the world in suspense. After the outbreak of the Spanish flu in the city, the managers had to react quickly and rigorous Social Distancing implemented measures. So the disease was under control, the acceptance in the population for the measures decreased more and more. Also the business people of the city put pressure on the policy.

Here you can read more about the measures to be taken against the Spanish flu: Two case examples of the Spanish flu of 1918, show why radical quarantine is important

After five weeks of Lockdown policy concessions in Denver: mayor William Fitz Randolph Mills picked up on time at the end of the First world war on 11. November, the output restrictions. Hundreds celebrated the end of the war on the streets. The decision proved to be fatal. Denver was already at the end of the pandemic, had not survived at the time but still even half. There is a second wave of infections, which was even more deadly than the first followed.

Eleven days after the lifting of the lock downs, the City leaders returned to the previous restrictions. But it was already too late. The local newspaper “the Denver Post” reported that in Denver, more and more people to the Spanish flu have died than people from the U.S. state of Colorado in the entire First world war. A similar effect was also evident in other U.S. cities to observe the loosened during the pandemic the measures too early.

Easing of the measures could mean a lot of deaths

Examples such as these it may be, the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, in the back of your head if you publicly warns: “We must weigh, not for a second in safety.” Germany is, as before, at the beginning of the pandemic, stressed Merkel. In the USA, the developments in Denver are often quoted as an Argument against an early lifting of the measures. But also in Germany, the demands for relaxations to be more emphatically.

Virologists fear that the Virus is distributed in a second wave of Infection more about the country and then different Outbreaks could be. So would the Coronavirus is significantly more difficult to re-contain it. The Spanish flu is used by many as a warning example from history: During the pandemic of 1918/19 killed worldwide between 20 and 40 million people – about two percent of the world population.

Sources: CNN / “Denver Health” / Washington Post / National Geographic / NDR Info

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