Plagues and Pandemics, Part II

It’s Spring! At least the calendar says it is. Today is a bit warmer with a very cool breeze—typical of Utah in March. March is usually the deadliest month for surviving diseases.

And as I have learned of many others with second and third bouts of Covid—some even hospitalized at first, I am amazed at the lack of current scientific coverage (except on Fox Television), of real information. Diseases of the past have statistics and projections and origins and even full medical treatments that have become widely known. Covid-19 appears to be enshrouded in mystery and constantly changing data. The fact that it is not, yet, an historical event/phenomenon does not excuse the lack of reliable information.

Bibliography of Specific Studies and Popular Articles—Plagues and Pandemics
Bravo, Melissa. “The Biological Risk of Drought,” Progressive Forage (7 July 15, 2021) 28-29.
When unrelenting droughts occur, dust and sand carry vectored microbes out vast distances and are responsible for millions of animal and human illnesses. Like Salmonella, Listeria, Shigella, Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, and many others that cause ear infections, pneumonia, abscesses meningitis, urinary tract infections, infections in wounds and burns, and many more.

Carey, John, et. Plaguesal. “The next phase: Bioterrorism? Deadly Germs?” Businessweek (1 Oct 2001) 58-61.
Using Anthrax, smallpox, and other agents of deadly disease in war and conflict.

Cook, Rachel, editor. “The History of Influenza Pandemics by the Numbers,” 1-11. As of Apr 24, 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) states there have been 145,216,414 confirmed cases of Covid-19, including 3,079,390 deaths worldwide. Covid-19 is the fifth pandemic since 1900.

Fenn, Elizabeth A. Pox Americana: The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775-82. New York: 2001.
European-born soldiers fared better than American-born men who lacked immunity for the dread disease. Whole tribes of Indians were wiped out too.

Great Courses. The Black Death: The World’s Most Devastating Plague. Signature Collection available on television and Internet.  Close captioned. 24 lessons with study materials. [In some parts of Europe and the British Isles, almost 50% of the population died—those areas where the people were already crowding the resources of life were hit the hardest. AHE]

Hammonds, Evelynn M. Childhood’s Deadly Scourge: Dophtheria. A study of the attempts to stop the disease in New York City.

“A History of Viruses and the Worst of Them,” https://www, (9 July 2021) 1-19.

Klass, Perrl. “The Plague Among Children: How We Fought Diphtheria,” Smithsonian (Oct 2021) 50-61.
Diphtheria was the leading cause of death for children in 17th century New England and it is still causing deaths today. Originally called “throat distemper.”

Park, Alice. “The Forgotten Plague: Tuberculosis,” Time (12 Oct 2008) 55-61. A haunting photo-essay by James Nachtwey.  Drugs are available, but require daily doses for six months. Deadly variants are present in our society today.

Reid, Clayton B. “America: Bracing for the Next Pandemic,” Newsmax (August 2021) 14-15. “In 2009, the H1N1 bird flu came shockingly close to triggering a pandemic. In the United States, over 274,000 people were hospitalized and 12,469 died, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

Saturday Evening Post. “Will Our’s be the Century of Homeless People?” Editorial (12 Sep 1959). Over two million refugees still in camps and hostels from the impact of World War II on Europe and the Middle East.

Spencer, Stephen M. “Fallout: The Silent Killer,” Saturday Evening Post (29 August 1959). Clouds of radioactive particles, invisible but potentially lethal, blown from exploding nuclear bomb tests—thicker in the northern United States. “Hottest” in 1959 due to tests in Russia—blown by the wind!

For other blogs with pandemic and plague references and summaries, use the Google-Powered index to my Genealogy Evidence Blog on my Home Page I have an interest in the causes of death for ancestors and their families over time—knowing about specific plagues and where out-breaks of disease occurred allow for the location and searching of cemeteries, contemporary newspaper and periodical coverage, diaries, and local history accounts of what happened and who was affected. When I write the history of the family, I not only research with this information, I also study the human toll and misery caused by circumstances over which our ancestors usually had no control.
Your favorite genealogist, Arlene Eakle

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