A catastrophic Spanish flu epidemic spread throughout the world throughout 1918 and part of 1919. In the spring of 1918, an army training center at the Fort Riley Kansas found the first cases of Spanish influenza in the United States. The first incidence of the virus in Kansas was quite moderate, with low-fever, nausea, headache, and fatigue. The Spanish grip took an ominous turn in the fall of 1918. The moderate United States (U.S.) strain traveled on troops and several ferrying boats to Europe. The injured and the ill were sent back home, spreading freely throughout the U.S. the dangerous new strain. During this period of the Spanish flu, the freemason lodges served as accessory hospitals to help manage the growing Spanish flu cases across the U.S. However, many lodges lost several members from the Spanish flu. In this paper, we explore the experiences, challenges, and lessons from Freemason lodges during the Spanish flu. The history provides important lessons and context with regards to the current COVID-19 pandemic.
"The Spanish Flu of 1918: A Historical Reflection and Lessons,"
Journal of Community Hospital Internal Medicine Perspectives: Vol. 13:
2, Article 14.
Available at: https://scholarlycommons.gbmc.org/jchimp/vol13/iss2/14