|A very early ad about it, October 12th, 1918|
In early October, influenza came to Salem mainly by the rail corridor from the larger cities and ports on the coast. On October 12th, exactly 100 years ago, Salem ordered its first closures and formal public health actions.
Its virulence and seriousness was not fully grasped.
But at the same time, the prospect of closure got serious. Maybe these side-by-side pieces on the 11th are something of a cusp.
But by October 12th, an order against gatherings and for public closures finally came down
. There did not yet seem to be a noticeable increase in fatality yet, and it is hard to know how the number of "mild" cases compared to previous seasons and versions of the flu.
By order of the state board of health, Salem will be a closed town beginning
at 6 o'clock this evening, and it will remain closed until otherwise ordered
by the state board of health.
This includes of course the closing
of moving picture theaters. There will be none tonight. Schools will close and
churches also. In fact, the orders include dances and public gatherings of
any kind whatsoever.
The order will be put into effect
through a proclamation of Mayor Walter K. Keyes. The mayor received a
telegram this morning from the slate
board of health insisting that the closing order be put into effect at once
as it was thought to be dangerous for people to congregate at movies this
evening or in the churches tomorrow.
Dr. O. B. Miles, city health officer
said this afternoon that but a few cases had been reported in the city
and these were mild ones. In order to
keep fully informed on the situation,
Dr. Miles asks all physicians to report
daily should any cases develop.
The closing order means that until
the state board of health deems it desirable to rescind the order that beginning with 6 o'clock this evening, there
will be no moving picture theaters
open, no churches in session, no schools,
no dances, no lodge sessions and no
anything that will bring people together in crowds....
Even with these measures, it was still the war that dominated headlines. Many were dying there, and no one was dying yet in Salem from this flu.
Update, March 29th, 2020
As we are in the midst of our own global pandemic, the paper is now visiting the 1918 pandemic, and they highlight the first apparent instance in the greater Salem area, at Chemawa.
|Today's paper highlights a note about|
Chemawa on October 9th
Added a note from the sunday paper today as we grapple with our own pandemic.
Post a Comment