There has been controversy on COVID 19 vaccines and measures to contain the pandemic. Let’s look at history to understand suggestions made by scientist and medical officials since this pandemic started. The “Spanish flu,” 1918-1919, killed an estimated 675,000 Americans and 50 million people worldwide. There were no vaccines, only limited research facilities existed during this time. The United States used many methods to prevent the spread of Spanish flu – closed schools, wore masks, avoid large events, held events outside, no spitting. Some western states’ cities adopted mask ordinances, argued wearing a mask was a patriotic duty. Citizens listened to experts and their efforts worked. Because of World War I and this deadly pandemic, medical innovations and researchers developed techniques to identify causes and treatments for diseases. Today, there are hundreds of virus research facilities around the world. Government and public university facilities are highly regulated, but those at companies, organizations, and private colleges are not. DW (German news) has two Doc Films that provide excellent information, “Good Virus, Bad Virus” and “Plague Island.” DW.com, Latest programs, Doc Films.

April 1957, Maurice Hilleman read The New York Times report on a large influenza outbreak in Hong Kong. He told others that a pandemic was coming and pushed to develop a vaccine. Hilleman, chief of respiratory diseases at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Washington, D.C., obtained saliva of an infected US serviceman in Japan. Hilleman had access to serums obtained over decades. This virus was a completely different strain. Doctors and scientists first developed viable flu vaccines in the 1940s, so they were not starting from scratch as they worked on the 1957 flu vaccine. Hilleman bypassed regulatory agencies with the vaccine, worried those agencies would slow the process down. When the new flu strain hit the United States in September, the country was ready with a vaccine. The virus, dubbed “Asian flu,” killed an estimated 70,000 to 116,000 Americans and one to four million people worldwide, but experts suggest it would have killed many more without this vaccine.

Why do some rely on Facebook postings rather than investigative journalists, or listen to radio, TV personalities and others, with no education or background on a complicated subject or issue rather than those who have dedicated their lives to developing or studying in complicated fields in an effort to save lives or our democracy? Why not factcheck.org? Check sources: Adfontes.com.

Cheryl Moskal

(previous area resident)

Denver, CO

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