Saturday, October 31, 2020

During the 1918 flu pandemic, masks were controversial for "many of the same reasons they are today"


CBS News

As Election Day nears, the role of masks during the coronavirus pandemic has become highly politicized; while health experts have emphasized how masks can reduce spread, mask rules across the country have varied and so has the response from Americans. 

More than a century ago, during the 1918 flu pandemic, there were some similar feelings about masks.

As Americans were celebrating victory in World War I in the fall of 1918, the masks on returning troops showed that the U.S. was losing another war against the so-called Spanish Flu. 

Masks were controversial back then "for many of the same reasons they are today," said Nancy Tomes, a history professor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.  Read more >>