Snapshot of An Earlier Pandemic

Excerpts from the book, City of San Diego and San Diego County: The Birthplace of California, by Clarence Alan McGrew, published in 1922.

“With other cities of the nation San Diego paid heavy toll in the influenza epidemics, the malignancy of that disease coming close to San Diegans in the fall of 1918, when quarantine regulations were enforced here in an effort to curb the spread of the trouble. One quarantine was in force from October 14 to November 9, during which period the churches, schools and theatres of the city were kept closed. Masks of gauze were prescribed December 6 of that year, and stores were kept closed from December 6 to December 9 in an effort to prevent crowds from gathering in any place, the doctors having concluded that in this way some good would be accomplished. From December 10 to December 24 more liberal quarantine regulations were in force.

“The schools, closed because of the influenza epidemic, were reopened again January 6, 1919.”

“In this period [in National City] a hospital was operated [by the local Red Cross branch] in several buildings on the high school grounds, and the local doctors, already rushed by private cares, rendered praiseworthy service. Once a month for twenty-seven months an automobile loaded to the top with such things as men in a hospital enjoy was sent to Camp Kearny.”


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