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tv   The Spanish Flu  Deutsche Welle  September 6, 2022 6:15am-7:01am CEST

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incoming president william realtor, one by a margin of less than 2 percentage points override that would ingo his biggest task will remain to reunite a very divided country. all right, that's it for me. but to stick around was much more news coming up for you at the top of the hour until wednesday tune for doc film, where we look at the spanish flu. the pandemic that killed more than 15000000 people a century before coven 19. and don't forget, you can get all the latest news on our website that still be dot com. and of course we're on twitter, youtube as well. i'm here until berlin, thanks for joining us. for the landscape. a reflection of a turbulent history. the cities, a mosaic of different people and languages. e, ron's mountains reveal unparalleled beauty. a special look at
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a special country. she ran from above. start september 16th on d, w. ah. the winter of 1918 is that particularly cold one. freezing temperature is paralyzed the united states with but america has just entered the 1st world war, and nothing can be allowed to disrupt the training of the troops. and yet in the shadow of these preparations, another peril awaits
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a scourge. worse than the war is about to strike. ah, in a few short months, it will rec, havoc and destruction on the planet before disappearing again and be forgotten. it is thought that it might have started at the military camp at funds in kansas, where $30000.00 men were preparing for their baptism of fire on the battlefield. on march, 4th, a cook missed morning call, followed by 2 soldiers by mid day. more than 100 soldiers had to pull out of
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training. they all had the same symptoms. high fever, muscle aches, headaches, and a terrible cough. for edward schriner, the base physician, the diagnosis was clear. the soldiers were suffering from the flu. private irving greenwald remembers the whole company went to the infirmary. the sick were examined, isolated and treated. after a few days rest, the soldiers recovered in the open air. but meanwhile, the virus prosper and multiplied, it infected 10000 men every week. senior management felt there was no reason to be
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concerned. the flu is rarely fatal. for the time being at the end of march 1918, the training camps emptied as the troops had for the major port on the united states east coast. in the face of a newly aggressive germany, american support had become crucial but despite the speed of the outbreak, no measures were taken to limit contagion. the priority was to send 4000000 men to the front.
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every day they set sail from new york, boston and philadelphia to transport such numbers. the number of ships and routes multiplied soon. ships docked in liverpool breast for dough and even more se. during the 8 day crossing platoons, full of cases became battalions of flu victims. there were many sick among the $100000.00 men who disembarked every month, but most soon recovered. the virus had not yet shown its true face, but continued its silent migration. with he came a faithful travelling companion, moving across france towards the front lines. the procession of troops passed
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through towns and villages. ah, with every hug and hand shake, the virus discreetly entered the populations in its path. ah ah, it was 1st spotted around the harbours than along the railroad tracks had in east, as if waiting to join the fight. after 4 years of fighting, the arrival of reinforcements was a relief for the soldiers
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struck up friendships. little did the british and french suspect that a terrible scourge had slipped into the ranks of their new brothers in arms. despite the celebrations, germany remained to be defeated. ah . on april 9th 1918, there was a new onslaught on the flanders trenches. germany needed to win before america fully deploy its forces. in a flash, the kaisers army smashed through enemy lines, capturing many prisoners the allies pulled back. germany had won the advantage
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now it was a race against time. huge overloaded convoys rushed to the front. on board, there were no seats or dining cars. i janet conditions were poor and space at a premium and the swift back up worked soon overwhelmed by numbers. the germans lost the upper hand. german losses were high. large numbers of soldiers were also laid low by a sudden illness. a 3 day fever, which became known as the flanders flew. the virus had now taken hold on both sides. but the press remained silent under the
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watchful eye of the military sensors. hello. aah! spain was the 1st to break the news of the illness. the country was neutral, and its newspapers were free to inform the world. most knew that a flew from the north had now spread across the iberian peninsula. even king alfonso, the 13th became bedridden, and his prime minister and several advisors were also effected. government meetings were adjourned until further notice. ah, ah, madrid's unworried residence continued to hum a tune from an operatic popular that spring, the soldier of naples. oh . but once the death rate in the capital reached double the normal level,
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the cheerful refrain took on a darker tone and new words soldier of naples. curses be unto you. your lethal fever is a bad omen. you cause us nothing but trouble. bless it is any one who survives, ah imported by seasonal workers returning from southern france, the virus spread thanks to spain's well developed rail network. the french ambassador and madrid explained his concerns. the epidemic has spread with extraordinary speed. in 3 days, it has effected 70 percent of the population. if the epidemic hits france in
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a similar way, it could shut down part of our national life. exposed in spain, the illness would thereafter be called. the spanish flew at the end of may 1918 media, and the warring nations finally broke their silence. but the scale of the epidemic was downplayed. some articles in france claimed the country was completely unaffected by the so called spanish flew but military reports indicate otherwise. under a code name, disease 11, it spread to every corner of the country was duly recorded.
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new cases appeared daily among the americans, almost half the submarine crews were on sick leave. acting as giant incubators. the subs did not help. the virus had mutated becoming twice as aggressive on the british side, 10 percent of the sailors were affected. the royal navy had to call off major operations in the north sea. the viruses spread and virulence also accelerated among land faced armies. one report summed up the situation. one artillery brigade saw a 3rd of its troops fall ill within 48 hours. one day,
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only 15 men were bid for service out of a tow of $145.00 military leaders were careful not to spread. the news. in more time, secrecy is vital. the enemy must know nothing. the new york times was on board. even the soldiers were not told for fear that troop morale would suffer. everything had to carry on as if the virus did not exist. the sick and wounded were sent to the back. many british were sent home where no
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special measures were taken to care for the sick. the virus crossed the english channel silently on stretchers. now its advance from the southern united kingdom began in the north. it had already arrived the american troops using british port cities as staging points in the working class suburbs. the number of cases was 20 times higher than normal in manchester. doctor james nevin raised the alarm in one school, i observed children getting sick and some collapsing on their desks. the illness comes on very suddenly, and overwhelming fatigue is a common symptom. mm. a
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prevention pioneer never advocated handwashing and social distancing. his recommendations inspired a new film dedicated to health care. it showed how an office worker infected his colleagues over the course of a single working day with but winning the war meant sacrifice. this was what sir. arthur newsome, a senior member of the british medical association, thought the wars demands justified the risk of spreading infection. ah, there was nothing more to say. nothing would be done to stem the spread july
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1918 was catastrophic. with the german side, general wooden doff chief strategist of the german army declared. the flu is everywhere. it is awful to hear the case numbers and officers complaints about the weakness of our troops. lacking combat ready men, his army was forced to retreat given leave sick and symptom free. soldiers returned home where they mingled with civilians already weakened by the ongoing shortages. in battered germany, the population was feeling the full force of the epidemic. the 1st fatal cases were reported in hamburg, berlin and mannheim. but
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the allies were optimistic with the good. the number of cases in the army had dropped sharply. it was summer. the epidemic seemed to be subsiding and victory was in sight. the daily paper, le le town was delighted ah long lived the spanish blue for the soldiers as well as for those behind the lines . it is an opportunity for a few days of rest. to delete the newspapers. it was all over. but in reality, the virus was roaming and the general population was unaware of the ongoing threat .
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only the eminent professor fannan v died warned contagion occurs in a very special way and spreads faster than any other disease. but his warnings fell on deaf ears with the authorities. the hectic pace of the early 20th century meant large parts of the population were now commuting to work every day. public transportation was full. there was no avoiding social contact. remote working was still not an option. and every payment brought with it the risk of infection. in the inner cities, the population clustered in very tight spaces. the streets, public transport and markets were overcrowded. the spread of the virus was
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particularly compounded by the lack of shielding. by the summer of 1918, the flu had spread worldwide from portugal to russia. iceland, italy, greece, even as far as china case numbers exploded. the epidemic had become a pandemic. worse the virus had mutated and its summer variant was much more dangerous. now there were hundreds of deaths each week, a 2nd wave, much more deadly than the 1st had started only switzerland seemed aware of the
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challenge that had faced awe. on july, 18th, a federal decree ordered cantons to ban gatherings and closed public venues. offenders faced heavy fines or prison but elsewhere there were no preventative measures to slow the spread of the scourge . the war remained the highest priority deliveries of equipment, food and troops danced and unceasing trans atlantic ballet a frequent destination that summer was africa. a major supplier of manpower and raw materials to the colonial empires.
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the virus was 1st reported in algeria, morocco in sierra leone. on august 15th to 1918, a merchant ship came to refuel and free town hub of the west african cold trade. there are $124.00 cases on board, including one death mm. while the corpse was unloaded, dock workers reloading the ships, hold. 10 days later, $600.00 of them were infected. the death rate increased. some of the locals called the disease men who meaning what is it? although unaware of the cause, they would see its effects all too soon. within a month, almost a 3rd of the country was infected. the
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logos, the capital of nigeria, another ship delivered its cargoes, slew carriers in the night. julians knew that europeans were importing the infection. guided by our booth who are religious leaders. people fled the urban white hospitals to seek care at home in their native villages. called if alonza, the virus killed almost 500000 people. me thanks to the rail and river connections built by the colonialists to transport the continent swells. the virus quickly crossed jungles and deserts in less than a year, it had slaughtered 2500000 people
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while invading the world, the flew also ravaged the u. s. in mid september army bases sun unprecedented eruption camped. evans and massachusetts was particularly hard hit. within a month, the number of infections grew 5 hundredfold a military doctor wrote they seemed to have an ordinary flu. then they quickly developed the most vicious type of pneumonia ever seen. a few hours later, their faces turned blue. until it is hard to tell the colored men from the white. ah,
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victor von, head of the contagious diseases unit report it. i witnessed hundreds of soldiers die in the army camps and did not know what to do. i then decided never again to preach about the great achievements of medical science and to humbly admit our dense ignorance in this case. by late september, with the allies on the brink of victory, the flew was killing soldiers as fast as machine guns and artillery. in the us, the virus had escaped from the military camps and began to attack civilians. boston, near the ill fated camped. evans was the 1st city struck nearby cities followed
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many doctors called strict preventative measures, but the authorities saw no need ah, the 4th more effort fundraising campaign had just started ah, americans were implored to reach into their wallets to fill the war coffers. philadelphia put on a massive parade on september 28th enthusiastic, proud of 200000 soldiers and civilians, celebrated equally a memorable event, particularly for the famous ah
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the following week, the number of victim skyrocketed. the cities, hospitals were overwhelmed. beds piled up in the corridors, shift work was improvised, and caregivers were exhausted. doctor sidney rosenblatt wrote, i have gone through hell with these weeks. all i have done is sign death certificates with more than 650 deaths, daily funerals could not keep up. churches were closed. mm. for strong carts traveled the streets, collecting the dead. many corpses, landed and hastily dug trenches. ah,
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nothing was learned from the philadelphia disaster. the same week, new york hosted the traditional columbus day parade, attended by the president himself. a great promoter of the event, woodrow wilson, was careful not to comment on the pandemic. the 2nd wave picked to new york 15 days later, reaching a sad record of more than 5000 deaths in one week. no one was yet aware that the industrialized world had been plunged into the greatest health crisis in its history. it had soon claimed more victims than the war. in autumn 1918, the virus redoubled an intensity from boston to bombay. rome to rio,
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its deadly variant, preached british india relatively spared by the 1st wave, became a charnel house in a land of 250000000 people. the virus was spoiled for choice. everywhere trains arrived, packed with the dead and dying in punjab. the worst affected region, almost a 1000000 people were dead or dr. reported. the hospitals are so choked. we cannot remove the dead fast enough to make room for the dying. in delhi, every 2nd hospital patient died. the dead are traditionally cremated on riverside pars. but the wood reserves were exhausted, and cremation became impossible. corpses were dumped in the rivers instead.
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in india, the death toll has been estimated to be around 20000000. but the total might well have been higher. for 7 months the pandemic had been spreading to every corner of the globe. edith goring, a young survivor recalled, some was so delirious, they had to be tied to their beds. the dying were covered in black and purple patches. pregnant women were dying. in montreal, a dr. reported sometimes i saw 50 cases per day,
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often for 5 or 6 members of the same family could not breathe. when i returned the next day, 2 or 3 of them had already died. a young orphan explained. first, my father died my mother the next day. before we could bury them, my younger sister joined them. she was born just before my mother died. in paris, dr. marguerite top k, noted me. we felt helpless. the severity of the symptoms and the rapid progression of the illness was playing in colorado. by late october french hospitals could no longer cope and launched an appeal.
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medicine was helpless. science baffled me. seasonal flu normally strikes children and the elderly spanish varian struck young. healthy adults like lightning within 2 days and nothing could save them. ah, the doctors only had aspirin, which could fight the 40 degree fever, but too much kills more than it saves. over doses could ease the suffering of the dying. they treated patients any way they could. in france, eminent medical professors tried bloodletting. others recommended turpentine, inhaled cargo or injected
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the ah, i health measures of all kinds were suddenly a part of everyday life. ah, ah, roman cognac with the most popular prescription? ah, when the police distributed seized contraband alcohol in the military camps, even if the bourbon didn't cure it? res morales. scotch was preferred in canada. well, brandy was popular in south africa. neutering became wildly popular. quinine
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whiskey carpeted ah, in france. quinine was also recommended, but without whiskey ah, like alpine tea with its claimed benefits. a cure for colds also promised miracles ah, in the united states, a powerful accident time lack was given freely. snake oil salesmen took full advantage of the market for hope. peddling the wackiest remedies ah, a rash of treatment and pills. syrup, sir, ointments each more useless than the other flourished. while the virus continued its deadly work.
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the onset of the 2nd wave forced to the authorities to act new york close to the shops and peak times san francisco. the court houses trials were conducted outdoors ah, from seattle to karachi, theaters and cinemas were shut sole prohibited access to all public venues. manchester close at school, while in many parts of africa, village leaders, restricted gatherings, even a funeral. after many months of negligence, there was a widespread increase in awareness across the continence. everything possible was done to restrict social interaction. though in france,
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restaurant terraces still remained open until 7 pm. spain closed at the borders while strangely blocked as harbors. and japan dropped explanatory leaflets by air. many universities remained closed, or courses were taught outdoors. the even delivery men were kept from their customer. ah, there was as yet no mention of quarantine. tom had become the norm. ah, as the days passed, prevention based messages became orders. you must use
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a handkerchief when you sneeze. one leaflets hammered out by the u. s. surgeon general red cops and sneezes, spread diseases as dangerous as and gas shells. messages posted along public highways and, and public transport set. the tone and i masks now formed the core of the passive defense system. pioneer in this, japan required their use and towns including for younger generations in the united states, some states made them compulsory as in california, where the government called them the patriotic duty of every citizen. the
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in san francisco, as a new york offenders were subject to fines and those who resisted were arrested and tried. the protesters organized in the name of personal freedom, writing the risk of being shot the day in paris. so the press wondered, me will for region women be willing to disfigure themselves to protect their lungs? i fear they will not take this mask seriously. miss protective gag did not muscle humour or inventiveness.
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ah, franz experimented only briefly with mass because by mid october, the newspapers still claimed the general state of health in paris was satisfactory . surreal optimism at the very moment that the epidemic was about to peak in the french capital. in the major cities, the marks were full. the bodies were piling up for lack of coffins and hearses. churches were off limits to the living and hurried burials were done at night, with no family to say good bye. during this deadly outbreak, the virus swept through the countryside from echo to normandy in town halls. as
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many death certificates were issued in a week as normally were in a year, entire villages were wiped out. the spanish flew smothered everything like a plague of locusts on crops. it feasted 15 days before vanishing and arising elsewhere. on november, 11th 1918, the 1st world war finally ended, victors and vanquished succumbed to a collective fever. this time welcome. good news never travels alone.
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mortality rates were dropping, and the pandemic was retreating. 2 days afterwards and the newspapers read, lou is on the run, just like the germans. the celebrations were a feast for a virus far from sated. peace celebrations were the ideal setting for the virus to strike once again. a 3rd wave soon broke, impacting even the most remote areas. in spring, 1919 president woodrow wilson made his way to europe. 4 months after germany's defeat, the question of war, reparations continued to divide. the victors only the american leader believed that excessively severe sanctions might stir up
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a desire for revenge. among the losers he intended to win over his allies. suddenly on april 3rd, the allied meeting was postponed. wilson was very ill. carry grayson, his doctor confided privately. the president was suddenly taken violently sick with the influenza at a time when the whole of civilization seemed to be in the balance. after 5 days he was back, but to those who knew him, he was no longer the same. they had never seen him so worn out, so tired. his chief bodyguard lamented. ah, the illness has left him very weak and radically changed. his alertness
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are on june 28th 1919 the peace treaty was finally signed. the treaty of versailles brought germany to its knees. the cost of reparations was so high that provided a pretext for the 2nd world war 18 months after its 1st documented appearance. on the u. s. military camp, the spanish flew, had come full circle. it was gone, leaving behind at 50000000 victims. although estimates vary wildly unlucky victory for those who survived probably achieved in part thanks to hurt immunity, but at a cost of tens of millions of human lives. a bitter sweet victory, particularly since it would not be the last deadly influenza virus. perpetually on the move such viruses threatened to wake at any time.
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ah ah oh glacier ah, provide nourishment in baton for both body and soul. but climate change is threatening this balance.
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