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Health, Medicine, Nursing
Article Critique
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The 1918 Flu, Masks and Lessons for the Coronavirus Pandemic (Article Critique Sample)


Did they change your mind? Did you think about current debates and events differently? Do you think some of the articles or essays were just wrong? Why?
A short synopsis of the article that was read.
Where did you stand in discussing this article?
A conclusion where you sum up what you thought, if or how you feel these readings were relevant, and whether or not these articles influenced you to change your mind.
Paper Comments
Please use this article to write the summary of this article.
The Mask Slackers of 1918
As the influenza pandemic swept across the United States in 1918 and 1919, masks took a role in political and cultural wars.
By Christine Hauser
Published Aug. 3, 2020 Updated Dec. 10, 2020
The masks were called muzzles, germ shields and dirt traps. They gave people a “pig-like snout.” Some people snipped holes in their
masks to smoke cigars. Others fastened them to dogs in mockery. Bandits used them to rob banks.
More than a century ago, as the 1918 influenza pandemic raged in the United States, masks of gauze and cheesecloth became the facial
front lines in the battle against the virus. But as they have now, the masks also stoked political division. Then, as now, medical authorities
urged the wearing of masks to help slow the spread of disease. And then, as now, some people resisted.
In 1918 and 1919, as bars, saloons, restaurants, theaters and schools were closed, masks became a scapegoat, a symbol of government
overreach, inspiring protests, petitions and defiant bare-face gatherings. All the while, thousands of Americans were dying in a deadly
1918: The infection spreads.
The first infections were identified in March, at an Army base in Kansas, where 100 soldiers were infected. Within a week, the number of
flu cases grew fivefold, and soon the disease was taking hold across the country, prompting some cities to impose quarantines and mask
orders to contain it.
By the fall of 1918, seven cities — San Francisco, Seattle, Oakland, Sacramento, Denver, Indianapolis and Pasadena, Calif. — had put in
effect mandatory face mask laws, said Dr. Howard Markel, a historian of epidemics and the author of “Quarantine!”
Organized resistance to mask wearing was not common, Dr. Markel said, but it was present. “There were flare-ups, there were scuffles and
there were occasional groups, like the Anti-Mask League,” he said, “but that is the exception rather than the rule.”


The 1918 Flu, Masks and Lessons for the Coronavirus Pandemic
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The 1918 Flu, Masks and Lessons for the Coronavirus Pandemic
The 1918 Flu presented a significant health issue that affected various cities in the United States. In particular, many lives were lost as the disease spread among thousands of Americans, as evidenced in the article. Different terms referred to the masks, including muzzles, dirt traps, and germ shields. The people believed that the masks gave them a pig-like snout which made the masks unwelcome. The mask presented a great challenge for a specific population, including smokers, since they had to make a hole on the mask to have a smoke. The article reveals that some individuals used the mask to commit crimes, including bank robberies. Influenza had ravaged the country, making the masks front line weapons against the virus, as evidenced in the article. The medical authorities within the country required individuals to wear masks to manage the spread of the disease. In particular, the authors of the article state that bars, theatres, and schools were closed. The population became defiant, leading to protests and other defiant gatherings to resist the government directives. The virus remained a deadly pandemic, with the final death toll recorded about 675 000 deaths in the country. San Francisco was the worst hit, with 30 people dying in every 1000 persons infected with the virus (Hauser, 2020).
My stand-in discussing the article is that the government directive was harsh since the masks were not proved to relevant control over the spread of the virus. In particular, individuals continued to suffer from the virus despite wearing pig-like snouts. Despite the increased number of deaths in San Francisco, the orders to wear the mask proved that the protests were justified. The cost of wearing the mask and closing down businesses exceeded the benefits associated with the directive. In essence, businesses, salons, schools, and other crucial facilities were closed to control the spread of the virus. People ended up suffering significant financial losses since they could not earn any income. They lost livelihoods and also incurred various expenses associated with controlling the virus. I believe that the administration should not have developed the law requiring everyone to wear masks. Instead, resources should have been pooled to create a better mechanism to mitigate the virus, including vaccines and treatments.
Reading and discussing the article was a crucial task that I undertook accordingly. In particular, the readings were relevant since they provided a proper comparison of contemporary health issues. In essence, it enlightened me regarding the various pandemics that have faced human society in ancient times. The population across the globe has been exposed to multiple pandemics that have claimed the lives of numerous people. However, the community always recover

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