The newspaper article below seems too familiar to our current state in July 2020:
San Diego Union and Daily Bee
29 October 1918
EPIDEMIC WELL UNDER CONTROL,
IT IS REPORTED
Health Board Renews Request
For Wearing Masks and
Two deaths and 40 new cases
summed up the course of the
Spanish influenza epidemic
in San Diego yesterday. The
Illness of Dr. E. P. Chartres-
Martin, who became sick Sunday
while duck hunting with
a party of friends, was a feature
of the news concerning the disease
yesterday. Dr. Chartres-Martin was
said yesterday afternoon to be resting
easily, and apparently had sustained
a mild attack.
Although the city council has
withheld the framing of any ordinance
to force the use of the gauze masks,
the health department redoubled
its requests yesterday that they
be worn, and cautioned those who
had been wearing the masks but
who have discarded them for the
last two or three days.
The epidemic, it was explained,
is well within control, but every
precaution must be observed if
this condition is to continue or
a relapse to be avoided.
The health department also warned
against social gatherings.
Notices have come to the department
concerning bridge, parties, teas and
other social gatherings which are
being held, although any congregation
may prove the occasion of the
dissemination of the influenza germs
and the department again asked that
the ban he placed against these
private gatherings as well as against
Milk and Telephones
Another possible source of
infection which the health
board requests householders
to take care of is centered
in milk bottles, which are
said to be favorable media
of transmission for the germ,
and householders are asked
to sterilize each bottle in
Public telephones should also
be sterilized two or three times
a day by being wiped out a cloth
dipped In a Lysol solution.
The vaccine which has been sent
to San Diego has not yet been
received, nor has there been any
word of when it will arrive here
but health officials believe it
will come today. There will be
enough to start inoculations,
while steps will be taken immediately
to make cultures from which enough
vaccine will be taken to provide
for the entire city.
San Diegans will
be interested in the following communication
received from San Francisco by the
local Red Cross concerning the
wearing of masks to prevent the
spread of Influenza:
“The state board of health suggests
that a proper and suitable mask is
a clean, close-textured handkerchief,
folded diagonally once from the corners
and placed with the middle of the
fold just below the eyes, with the
ends knotted at the back of the neck:
in abort, worn like the highwayman’s
This can be dropped below the chin
when not needed and can be easily
slipped in place above the nose when
the person is near others.
“The use of the handkerchiefs will
save the gauze needed for surgical
(Remembering that WW1 was still underway at the time of this article.)
‘FLU’ SITUATION BELIEVED
TO BE IMPROVED HERE
Official Report Will
Not Be Made Until
Today; Vaccine Supply Expected.
While the city board of health office
was not open yesterday and no official
report was made, it is thought that San
Diego made much headway in its campaign
against the Spanish influenza.
Reports from physicians and hospitals indicate
a falling off in the number of cases as
compared with recent days, and while the
official report tomorrow may not corroborate
this estimate, it is regarded as accurate.
Health authorities are awaiting with eagerness
the arrival of a supply of vaccine, now enroute
from San Francisco and expected to reach here
today or tomorrow.
While the anti-influenza vaccination is like all
other phases of the treatment still in an experimental
stage, it is expected to prove efficacious in preventing
the spread of the disease.
All physicians in San Diego will be supplied with
vaccine by the health board and the people of the
city will be urged to submit themselves to vaccination
without loss of time.
The vaccination is administered by means of a
hypodermic needle and the “shot In the arm”
causes little discomfort.
In addition to distributing a supply of the
vaccine among local physicians, the city
health authorities will, immediately on its
arrival, start a number of cultures which will
yield an unlimited supply of the vaccine within
a short time. There will be no shortage of the
preventive in San Diego.
Meanwhile, the health authorities are urging
the people to wear gauze masks as a preventive
against contracting the spreading influenza.
The city council will be asked at its meeting
tomorrow to enact an ordinance making the use
of the masks compulsory. The council refused last
week to make such an order, and it is known
that a majority is against the measure. Both
the health board and the common council have
requested that everyone in San Diego wear the
masks, and many are.
It is pointed out that physicians, treating
infectious cases of disease, always have worn
this kind of mask as a precaution against breathing
in any of the germs.
“The gauze mask is not an experiment, but has
proved its worth as a preventive against germs
for many years.” say health officials.
Favored by weather conditions that were perfect,
the population of San Diego spent much of its time
yesterday in the open air. Thousands went to the
country, the beaches and the parks and every highway
leading from the city was jammed with a procession
Every variety of machine was seen on the roads,
and some ancient vehicles which have rested undisturbed
in barns and garages for long years carried loads
of people, happy in the pure and bracing air and
glorious sunshine of the Southland.