16 July 2020

Dr Beatty Pleads to Mask Up During the Spanish Flu

Dr. T. B. Beatty ca. 1895.
 from Marriott Library, Univ of Utah.
During the fall of 1918 the second wave of the Spanish Flu hit Utah.

Here are the words of Dr. Theodore B. Beatty (1862-1948), the first state of Utah Health Commissioner who lead the department from 1899 to 1935.

He was addressing a meeting in Ogden with the mayor, city commissioners, city board of health, and representatives of business, churches, and schools.

“There is no attempt being made malignantly, unwisely, to hurt any man’s business, nor any child’s education, nor any person’s amusement, nor any one’s religious exercises. It is a question of the long versus the short view. We can put our heads like ostriches in the sand. We can say that the disease is not here. That will not alter the fact that it is here, and the longer we neglect its appearance the more terrible will it be. What we are attempting to do is to SAVE HUMAN LIVES. Human lives will be saved, the epidemic will be overcome, if with willing cheerfulness, the whole community gets together and links up with the city board of health and determines to rule its own life individually for the public good. Let people crowd down town; let them go into picture shows, let the schools be open, let everything go its own way just as it might do in normal times, and we will be paralyzed by this epidemic.” (Emphasis original)

Source: Ogden Daily Standard 1918-11-22 Head of State Board of Health Gives his Views

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