Pandemic 1918: Masks were used to fight

I.In September 1918, the situation in San Francisco was serious. Everyone could see that a plague was raging in the country – so most of the city’s residents kept wearing face masks. It paid off two months later: fewer people had contracted the infection and health officials advised cautiously to ease the quarantine that had also been imposed on the city. Hungry, the citizens of San Francisco flocked to public events – in restaurants, bowling alleys, clubs; the mayor of San Francisco had to pay a fine because the chief of police found him in the theater without a mask.

In December, a second wave of contagion rolled through the city. The head of the health department, a William C. Hassler, summoned the citizens of San Francisco to wear masks, please, please.


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