Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Get Well Soon: History's Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought ThemGet Well Soon: History's Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them by Jennifer Wright
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There are few plague and pandemic books I can rank up there as my absolute favorites, but this one comes awfully close.

Honestly, her clever and quippy and generally knowledgeable demeanor only enhanced the core facts of these "great" diseases that caused so much damage throughout history and closer to home.

And there are lots of heroes:

People who start using logic and common sense when so little of it is going around. (Cleanliness)
People who have more decency in them than practically everyone else. (Kindness)
People who buck convention to DO THE RIGHT THING. (Courage)

Let's not forget intelligence. But often there is a lot of that going around without the other three and without the other three, YOU'RE STILL DEAD. Or much, much worse off.

I totally recommend this book for anyone who's interested in plagues and pandemics. For we who are currently IN ONE, I can't recommend it enough. It's not fearmongering. It's history. The good stuff and the bad.

I recommend the chapter on the Spanish Flu in particular.

While many of the symptoms and the range are not all that similar to the Coronavirus, people's reactions to it during 1918 IS. Misinformation abounded everywhere. And while today's world isn't quite saddled with 20 years in prison for yelling "Fire" in a crowded theater, and journalists aren't locked up for saying a single thing that criticizes the government, we are still dealing with a ton of idiots.

Putting your head in the sand and quoting economic reasons to go into work while everyone ought to be in lockdown is not helping anyone. If everyone stayed put there would be no new vectors. But as it is now, a ton of people ARE staying put while another whole segment of society is freaking out about their jobs, passing the coronavirus along AGAIN and spreading out the length of the danger even longer for those who are already in self-quarantine.

Can you see a psychology problem here? It's not YOUR job at risk. It's EVERYONE'S LIVES at risk. Ignore the death rate for a moment. Focus on who is most at risk. Children, old people, and anyone with compromised immune systems. If you keep rolling the dice for yourself, you are not the only one you're hurting.

The total ignorance of the Spanish Flu, the over-insistence that EVERYTHING IS ALL FINE made it spread like crazy. WWI killed roughly 20 million people. In 1918 the Spanish Flu killed roughly 20 million people.

We really need to stop being stupid.

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