A “wave of revolt”: one pandemic’s pretty much like another — except for one thing

logo Latest in a series of posts on the Spanish Flu logo

For perspective on our current coronavirus situation, we are following the entrance of the 1918 Spanish Influenza, that paragon of pandemics, into the minds and bodies of Lehigh Valley residents who got their news through the Morning Call (the files of the Bethlehem Globe are closed to us at the moment).

October 31, 1918

Flu 97

May 10, 2020

Flu 96

Schuylkill County revolts and our governor does nothing.

Peter Hall, “Schuylkill County tells governor it’s going rogue, easing coronavirus restrictions without permission.” Morning Call, May 20, 2020.

Six Schuylkill County elected officials, including all three county commissioners, informed Gov. Tom Wolf that next Friday, the county will ease restrictions put into place to curb the spread of the coronavirus, in defiance of the governor’s order to remain closed. In doing so, Schuylkill joined Lebanon and Dauphin counties in declaring an end to the shutdown without waiting for permission. “We have heard the pleas of our residents who desire the ability to safely re-open their businesses and safely return to work,” the letter Saturday from the Schuylkill officials said.

“I trust and have faith in the great people and businesses of Pennsylvania to operate in a manner that protects those of our population in harm’s way and allows our residents to go back to work, enjoy their communities and have a quality of life. I, however, have no faith in Gov. Wolf and Secretary Levine’s ability to do the right thing,” Haste wrote, calling Wolf a dictator.

Wolf’s spokeswoman said Saturday night that the governor is aware of the statements and is hopeful that everyone will act in the best interest of public health.

The City of Lancaster revolts and they are given a time-out.

Flu 98

Now this is pretty interesting.

Let’s play Gadfly “Jeopardy.”

Question: He was the Pennsylvania governor during the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918.

If you cock your ear, you can hear the Jeopardy theme playing.

You don’t know?

The correct answer is Who was Martin G. Brumbaugh.

Well, even Gadfly couldn’t answer that after reading 6-7 week’s worth of articles on the Flu; he had to look it up.

Brumbaugh is never mentioned. The governor is never mentioned.

The person in charge of Spanish Flu management in Pennsylvania is not the governor (the president is absent too, but he was bringing a world war to a close) but B. Franklin Royer, Acting State Health Commissioner.

The person in charge of Flu management is not a politician.

He’s an acting Health Commissioner.

And he takes no crapola.

Now that is very interesting.

Who leads your pandemic dream team?

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