The Great Influenza Book Report

1174 Words 5 Pages
“The Great Influenza” by John M. Barry is a narrative of the events that occurred during the Influenza pandemic of 1918. The author goes into depth about how the pandemic began as it slowly made its way around the world and how society reacted/changed from the disease. John Barry thoroughly explained the process of how the scientist answered the questions on Influenza. Such as the pathogen of the disease, the transmission, and ways to prevent it. As he explained the evolution of the disease, he went into further detail of each scientist life story such as William Welch, John D. Rockefeller, Woodrow Wilson, Paul Lewis, and many more. Barry also describes an overview of the first World War and the effects it had on the pandemic and society. …show more content…
The reader will be able to know the difference between society back then and society now. For example, back then it did not require much experience or knowledge to become a physician. As it states in the book, “The College of Physicians had no laboratory and wanted none.” There were not many resources to be offered for the necessary practice to become a physician. Society did not worry about expanding American medicine. This has changed dramatically, society now accepts modern science and scientist are continually trying to improve medicine. Another big difference between society in 1918 and society in the 21st century is how civilians and politicians react to an epidemic. During the 1918 epidemic, people did not react that well nor did politicians know how to handle it either. In the beginning of epidemic, people did not avoid cluttered spaces or try to take safety precautions. People believed that as long as people washed their hands they would not become sick. As for politicians, they would lie about the severity of the epidemic. They would publish in newspapers that it was a minor cold or “grippe” . Some “precautions” were taken, but they were not effective, unlike the precautions that are taken right now. Their advice to avoid influenza were, “Remember the 3 Cs: clean mouth, clean skin, and clean clothes. Food will win the by

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