HOUSTON – The outbreak of COVID-19 has many historians drawing comparisons to the 1918 flu epidemic. Much like the coronavirus, authorities in 1918 responded to the epidemic with a combination of church, school and theater closures, cancellations or prohibitions of public gatherings in attempts to quarantine the ill.
“In 1918, most people would have experienced some kind of disruption to their lives due to the influenza outbreak,” said Rebecca A. Howard, Ph.D., LSC associate professor of History. “Some of the closings and cancellations were ordered locally, others came from the state level.”
It is estimated that 500 million people, about one-third of the world’s population at that time, had been infected and more than 50 million people worldwide died from the 1918 flu epidemic. It killed people within a few days and stood out because it often killed young and health people, not just the very young and the very old like most influenza outbreaks.
“We don’t know the exact numbers, even in the United States,” said Howard. “The systems for death certificates, if they even existed, became overwhelmed in both urban and rural areas. So we have a mix of official records backed up by oral histories.”
The 1918 flu epidemic is not the only 20th-century event which forced self-quarantine measures. During World War II, polio epidemics became especially common. An ancient disease, poliovirus caused paralysis, especially in children. Those who survived often lost the use of their limbs for life.
“Since poliovirus tended to spread in the summer, sleep away camps, public swimming pools, movie theaters, local festivals and even public libraries would close if there were cases reported in the area,” said Howard. “Diphtheria epidemics also repeatedly closed churches and schools and limited public gatherings throughout the early 20th century. Entire towns were put under quarantine.”
Diphtheria, a bacterial infection, blocks the throat with thick mucus often causing death. Children under the age of 6 would most likely be impacted. Adults could be carriers for the disease and unknowingly give it to children.
During that time, newspapers and public notices in places like post offices were the means of informing the public about social distancing rules.
“We would consider it a violation of privacy today, but it was extremely common to list the names of families that were under quarantine in their homes in newspapers due to the disease,” said Howard. “How else would people know not to come over?”
One of the most important things we learned from the past was that controlling diseases required a response at many levels of American society.
“The 1918 flu was spread by soldiers returning from World War I and much of the early information about the epidemic was deliberately hidden from the public out of fear it would hurt morale during a war,” said Howard. “By the 1940s and early 1950s, with a robust federal system honed by World War II, you saw a much stronger federal response to polio, especially in tracking the spread of it.”
Lone Star College offers high-quality, low-cost academic transfer and career training education to 99,000 students each semester. LSC is training tomorrow’s workforce today and redefining the community college experience to support student success. Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., serves as chancellor of LSC, the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area with an annual economic impact of nearly $3 billion. LSC consists of seven colleges, eight centers, two university centers, Lone Star Corporate College and LSC-Online. To learn more, visit LoneStar.edu.
October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit www.edwardsforhouston.com
As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.
Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.