Another Tinderbox

Recently read “The Great Influenza” by John M. Barry, about the 1918 pandemic of influenza. The author claims it killed as many as 100 million people worldwide, more in one year than the Black Plague killed in a century.

One of the key ingredients in the explosive spread of the disease in the United States was from Army Camps. The US was in the midst of World War I, ramping up the size of the army as quickly as possible. Hastily erected army camps held tens of thousands of soldiers in close quarters. Housing conditions made spread of influenza from one soldier to another much more efficient. One sick soldier enters a barracks and quickly infects the entire troop. Barry titles one of his chapters about this, “The Tinderbox.”

Despite repeated warnings from the US Surgeon General, the Army continued to move troops from one camp to another. This multiplied the spreading of the disease even more broadly across the US Army.

There are currently reports that the children being held in the detention camps are not being vaccinated. They are being held in even worse conditions than the soldiers during WWI, making it far more likely that diseases will spread quickly throughout the population.

Epidemics begin in conditions such as these. But they don’t stay in the camps; they spread like wildfires out of control. Concentration camps full of unvaccinated children are creating conditions for epidemics that would soon spread into the US population at large. This is a very dangerous situation.

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