Russian Flu or Covid?

Extreme fatigue, high fever, coughing, severe headaches, a loss of smell and taste. We know all the symptoms, we have heard them all, however it is not the first time these symptoms manifest themselves during a pandemic.

Those afflicted endured fever, cough, sore throat, aching muscles, and swollen eyes (conjunctivitis). Thanks to a ruined immune system, patients were vulnerable to pneumonia, which caused chills, chest pain, shortness of breath, vomiting and the risk of death as their infected lungs filled with fluid. Further deaths were attributed to bronchitis and other respiratory infections.

These are some striking similarities between this virus and its 19th century ancestor. You could be forgiven for thinking this is a description of the latest omicron strain of Covid-19. In fact, it details the severe wave of illness that swept the globe during pandemic of the 1890s. The so-called Russian flu, because the first reported outbreak occurred in St Petersburg in November 1889. But though some of the symptoms, such as fever, chills and aches, were consistent with flu, an increasing number of scientists believe the Russian flu may have actually been due to a bovine coronavirus.

Modern transport infrastructure assisted the spread of the 1889 pandemic. The 19 largest European countries, including the Russian Empire, had about 200,000 km of railroads, and transatlantic travel by sea took less than six days (not significantly different from current travel time by air, given the timescale of the global spread of a pandemic).[10] It was the first pandemic to spread not just through a region such as Eurasia, but worldwide.

At a time when most medics subscribed to miasma (an oppressive or unpleasant atmosphere which surrounds or emanates from something) theory, the notion that diseases were the result of poisonous exhalations from the earth carried on the wind. There was little to no consideration given to social distancing or masks. Instead, doctors emphasised the importance of bed rest and a positive state of mind, lest fear become the “mother of infection”.

The Lancet medical journal even went as far as to blame “dread of the epidemic” on the worldwide telegraphic network which, in 1889, had enabled Reuters correspondents to transmit news of the pandemic from St Petersburg well ahead of domestic outbreaks. In a similar way how some media in 2020 were trying to blame the 5G network.

Unlike most influenza pandemics such as the 1918 flu, it was primarily older people who died in 1889, as was the case early on with Covid.

The 19yj century satirical magazine Punch wrote : “If you sit all day in your great coat, muffled up to the eyes in a woollen comforter and with your feet in constantly replenished mustard and hot water, as you propose, you will certainly be prepared, when it makes its appearance, to encounter the attack of the Russian Epidemic Influenza, that you so much dread.”

Despite this, there was wide agreement that the infection could cause lung inflammation and that it was imperative to avoid relapses.

Just like Covid, the Russian flu did not care about status.

Those who ignored this advice risked bronchitis and pneumonia. Indeed, one of the most prominent victims was the Duke of Clarence, Queen Victoria’s 28-year-old grandson and the second-in-line to the throne, who died of pneumonic complications from Russian flu in January 1892.

His death coincided with Rudyard Kipling’s marriage at All Souls Church, Marylebone – a ceremony, which Kipling recorded, took place “in the thick of an influenza epidemic, when the undertakers had run out of black horses and the dead had to be content with brown ones and the living were mostly abed”.

Aside from the Russian Flu vs Covid similarities, there was also a connection with the duke , who was the 2nd in line for the throne to 2021/2022. Prior to his death, Prince Albert Victor was involved in a sex scandal. As Prince Andrew, a former 2nd in line for the throne, is now.

A German medical report documented epidemiological observations. ‘Prodromal signs were indisposition, headache and shivering. The incubation time was given as 2–6 days. Susceptibility to the infection differed between individuals: strong and obese persons were more severely affected than weak and thin persons. The physicians observed that childless couples, singles and families without social contact were not affected.’

Deriving meaningful data about mortality rates from daily reporting in newspapers is challenging because the categories for reporting disease varied across cities, sources, and time periods. Comparing mortality tables in the Swiss newspaper Intelligenzblatt in early 1890 and a report published by British scientist F. A. Dixey in Epidemic Influenza: A Study in Comparative Statistics more than a year after the epidemic subsided reveals broadly similar patterns despite the differences in timing.

By contrast, the daily reporting of deaths in local newspapers provided much higher death rates during the influenza epidemic than these more comprehensive reports. On January 2, 1890, for example, a French newspaper La lanterne reported 450 burials on a single day, December 31, 1890. Less than a week later, the same newspaper reported 327 more burials, presumably of victims of influenza. On January 12, this newspaper reported the number of deaths had declined, to 353 on January 8 and 275 on January 9. Even with these declining numbers, the total numbers reported in the daily papers were higher than the international reporting shown in the table above.

Of course it is not entirely possible to conclusively say that the Russian Flu was in fact a precursor to Covid, but it is an intriguing bit of history.

The virus, however, led to a pandemic which resulted in a total of at least 1 million to 1.5 million deaths within a few months, according to Belgian virologist Marc Van Ranst.

sources

https://ec.europa.eu/research-and-innovation/en/horizon-magazine/qa-why-history-suggests-covid-19-here-stay

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/01/13/russian-flu-coronavirus-1890s-pandemic-tells-us-covid-might/

https://www.brusselstimes.com/116859/coronavirus-possibly-caused-million-deaths-in-1890-says-marc-van-ranst

https://www.whodoyouthinkyouaremagazine.com/news/before-the-coronavirus-there-was-russian-flu/

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The Holocaust in Thessaloniki, Covid 19 Vaccine and Viagra.

Some people will probably accuse me for using specific words in the title as ‘clickbait’, and to an extend that is true. But anyone who writes a blog, and especially one with an extraordinary story, want readers to click on that link to read that story.

I make no excuse for the use of the title, basically because all the words are linked.

There were an approximate 50,000 Jews in Thessaloniki ,Greece, before World War 2. Only 2000 of them survived.

In the summer of 1942, the persecution of the Jews of Thessaloniki started. All men between the ages of 18 and 45 were conscripted into forced labor, where they stood for hours in the hot summer sun and were beaten and humiliated. The Jewish community was depleted of its wealth and pride. Jews were ordered to wear the yellow Star of David and forced into an enclosed ghetto, called Baron Hirsch, adjacent to the rail lines.

On March 15, 1943, the Nazis began deporting Jews from Thessaloniki. Every three days, freight cars crammed with an average of 2,000 Thessaloniki Jews headed toward Auschwitz-Birkenau. By the summer of 1943, the Nazi regime had deported 46,091 Jews.

Two of the survivors were the parents of Albert Bourla. For many of you the name Albert Bourla will mean very little. However is the CEO of a company which will have made an impact to millions ,and possibly billions, of people across the globe. The company if Pfizer, the first company ,the Pfizer–BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was the first approved vaccine used to provide protection against infection by the SARS-CoV-2 virus in order to prevent COVID-19. Of Course Pfizer is also known for Viagra, initially used as a treatment for heart-related chest pain. But is now primarily used as a treatment of erectile dysfunction (inability to sustain a satisfactory erection to complete sexual intercourse). Its use is now one of the standard treatments for erectile dysfunction.

Dr. Albert Bourla joined the Sephardic Heritage International on January 28th for International Holocaust Remembrance Day, where he shared his family’s story of tragedy and survival during the Holocaust.

Below is an excerpt of his speech.

“My father’s family, like so many others, had been forced from their homes and taken to a crowded house within one of the Jewish ghettos,” recounted Bourla. “It was a house they had to share with several other Jewish families. They could circulate in and out of the ghetto as long as they were wearing the yellow star.”

“But one day in March 1943, the ghetto was surrounded by occupational forces and the exit was blocked. My father and his brother (my uncle) were outside when it happened. Their father (my grandfather) met them outside, told them what was happening and asked them to leave the ghetto and hide because he had to go back inside as his wife and two other children were home. So later that day, my grandfather, Abraham Bourla, his wife Rachel, his daughter Graziella and his youngest son David were taken to a camp outside the train station and from there, left for Auschwitz. My father and uncle never saw them again,”

“When the Germans had left, they went back to Thessalonki and found that all of their property and belongings have been stolen or sold.”

Bourla’s mother was well known which caused her to hide at home “24 hours a day” out of fear of being recognized on the street and turned over the Nazis . She left the house very rarely, but it was during one of her rare ventures outside that she was captured and taken to a local prison.

“My Christian uncle, my mother’s brother-in-law, Costas de Madis approached a Nazi official and paid him a ransom in exchange for a promise that my mother would be spared,”

“However, my mother’s sister, my aunt, didn’t trust the Germans. So she would go to the prison every day at noon to watch as they loaded the truck of prisoners. One day, her fear had been realized, and my mom was put on the truck. She ran home and told her husband, who then called the Nazi official and reminded him of their agreement – who said he would look into it. That night was the longest night in my aunt and uncle’s life because they knew that next morning, my mom would likely have been executed.”

“The next day, my mom was lined up with other prisoners. And moments before she would have been executed, a German soldier on a motorcycle arrived and handed some papers to the men in charge of the firing squad. They removed my mother from the line. As they rode away, my mom could hear the machine gun slaughtering those that were left behind. Two or three days later, she was released from prison after the Germans left Greece.”

Eight years later Bourla’s parents met by way of matchmaking, through which they agreed to get married.

I fully respect anyone’s decision whether to take or not to take the vaccine, or any vaccine for that matter. Once this decision is based on sound, verified and peer researched information, and not by social media memes or sources which can’t be traced or verified.

However I will never condone the current vaccinations being compared to the Holocaust, it is absolutely vile and disgusting.

Just imagine i

sources

https://www.jpost.com/diaspora/pfizer-ceo-shares-his-familys-tragic-story-during-the-holocaust-658818

https://www.ushmm.org/information/exhibitions/online-exhibitions/special-focus/holocaust-in-greece/thessaloniki

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/my-familys-story-why-we-remember-albert-bourla/

The good fortune of Joseph Meister but yet a tragic end.

I hear a lot of fear mongering in relation to vaccines. One argument given by some people for not taking a vaccine is that one of the side effect is death. Usually these arguments are given with the back up of a meme, but never with actual facts.

It is true that one of the side effects could be death, but this can be said for every medical procedure. If the adhesive used on a plaster can cause an allergic reaction in people causing death.

When it comes to vaccines it is less then 1 percent of a risk. Not taking it will give a much higher risk in death.

On July 4th,1885, a rabid dog attacked a 9-year-old boy from Alsace, France. His name was Joseph Meister. The vicious and crazed dog proceeded to throw the boy to the ground and bite him in 14 places, including the hand, legs and thighs. Some of the wounds were so deep that he could hardly walk. Twelve hours later, at 8:00 in the evening, a local doctor named Weber treated Joseph’s most serious wounds by cauterizing, or sealing them, with searing doses of carbolic acid, in and of itself a horribly painful process.

This procedure did not help on July 6,1885, the boy’s mother brought her son to Paris, she suspected the boy had contracted rabies. She had heard rumours of a scientist who could prevent rabies. This scientist turned out to be Louis Pasteur.

Pasteur was so taken by the boy’s plight that he consulted two physicians, Alfred Vulpain and Jacques Grancher at a weekly meeting of the French Academy of Sciences. They, too, were struck by the need to do something, and to do it fast. Pasteur later reported, “Since the death of the child appeared inevitable, I resolved, though not without great anxiety, to try the method which had proved consistently successful on the dogs.”

Bacteriologist Louis Pasteur, who kept kennels of mad dogs in a crowded little laboratory and was hounded by medical criticism, had never tried his rabies vaccine on a human being before.

Pasteur escaped the medical license dilemma by having his medical colleagues present when the vaccine was first administered on July 6, 1885, some 60 hours after the initial dog attack. Mrs. Meister expressed little concern over the potential dangers of the experimental vaccine because she was so fearful that her son would die and she readily gave Pasteur her consent. The first injection was made in a fold of skin covering the boy’s right upper abdomen. Over a period of three weeks, Joseph was given 13 such inoculations.

For three weeks Pasteur watched anxiously at the boy’s bedside. To his overwhelming joy, the boy recovered.

Joseph Meister did not only recover but also went to work for Louis Pateur in later life. For decades he worked as a concierge at the Institut Pasteur, Louis Pasteur’s laboratory where some of the most important discoveries elucidating infectious diseases were made.

On June 14, 1940, the Nazis invaded Paris from Germany. Fearing for their safety, Meister, then 64 years old, sent his family away and stayed behind to protect the Pasteur Institute from the German soldiers. Ten days later, on June 24, 1940, Joseph Meister was overcome with guilt because he was certain that his family had been captured by the Nazis. He committed suicide by a gas furnace. In an ironic and sad twist of fate, his family was safe. They returned to the Institute just a few hours after Meister committed suicide.

Although his life was cut short by suicide. If he hadn’t received the vaccine against rabies he would have died aged 9.

I can understand why some people are reluctant to take any of the Covid 19 vaccines today. The misinformation that goes around on social media is phenomenal. But do not base your decision on anecdotal evidence(which is often made up) but base it on medical scientific facts. Inform yourself.

If I was to believe some of these antivaxers , this blog would not have been possible because I should be dead, given the fact I had a double does of the Moderna vaccine. Several members of my family received different vaccines and I am glad to report they are all alive and well.

sources

https://artsandculture.google.com/entity/joseph-meister/m051w1w?hl=en

https://time.com/3925192/rabies-vaccine-history/

https://historydaily.org/the-life-and-death-of-joseph-meister

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/health/louis-pasteurs-risky-move-to-save-a-boy-from-almost-certain-death

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The Olympic games how they were meant to be.

++++contains some nudity+++++

After the uncertainty of not knowing if the postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympics would go ahead in 2021, we finally got the news that they would be going ahead but without spectators. Covid 19 didn’t only cause havoc in normal life it disrupted some of the biggest sporting events also.

The ancient Olympic games did start off as  a religious festival and a good excuse for Greeks from all over the Mediterranean basin to gather for a riotous barbeque. On the middle day of the festival a vast number of cows were slaughtered in honour of Zeus, King of the Greek Gods – once he had been given a small taste, the rest was for the people.

Aristotle reckoned the date of the first Olympics to be 776 BC, a date largely accepted by most, though not all, subsequent ancient historians.It is still the traditionally given date and archaeological finds confirm, approximately, the Olympics starting at or soon after this time.

For the first 250-plus years all the action took place in the sanctuary of Olympia, situated in the north-western Peloponnese. Pock-marked by olive trees, from which the victory wreaths were cut, and featuring an altar to Zeus, it was a hugely scared spot.

The Ancient Olympic Games would last a full five days by the fifth century BC and saw jumping, running and throwing events. Additionally there were boxing, wrestling, pankration and chariot racing. At least 40,000 spectators would have filled ked the stadium each day at the height of the Games’ popularity, in the second century AD, with many more setting up stalls selling their wares outside.

If the modern games would have followed the same rules as the ancient games, it would have been a completely different event, I would dare to argue, perhaps an even more entertaining event.

  • All athletes competed naked
  • Wrestlers and pankration (a sort of mixed martial art which combined boxing and wrestling) competitors fought covered in oil
  • Corporal punishment awaited those guilty of a false start on the track
  • There were only two rules in the pankration – no biting and no gouging
  • Boxers were urged to avoid attacking the on-display male genitals
  • There were no points, no time limits and no weight classifications in the boxing
  • Athletes in the combat sports had to indicate their surrender by raising their index fingers – at times they died before they could do this
  • Boxers who could not be separated could opt for klimax, a system whereby one fighter was granted a free hit and then vice-versa – a toss of a coin decided who went first

For most of its history, Olympic events were performed in the nude. Greek Historian Pausanias says that the first naked runner was Orsippus, winner of the stadion race in 720 BC, who simply lost his garment on purpose because running without it was easier.

There are no records of women competitors during the ancient games. Ig there were they probably would have looked something like these athletes.

I am looking forward to the 2020/2021 Tokyo Games and I hope they will be a great success, because despite all the recent scandals it remains a feat of human achievment

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Source

https://www.olympic.org/ancient-olympic-games

The Manchurian plague

Before I go into the history of the The Manchurian plague, I would like to say something about Dr. Wu Lien-teh. Google is honoring him today with a Google Doodle, it is his 142 birthday today.

Dr. Wu Lien-teh. was a Malayan physician renowned for his work in public health and particularly, the Manchurian plague of 1910–11. Scientific personal protective equipment is generally believed to have begun with the cloth facemasks promoted by Wu Lien-teh during the Manchurian pneumonic plague outbreak, although many Western medics doubted the efficacy of facemasks in preventing the spread of disease.

Long before the coronavirus pandemic which broke out in the city of Wuhan .wreaked havoc on the planet, it was the Great Manchurian Plague that brought life to a standstill in China.

Like the Covid virus ,which currently is still causing problems globally, the virus which caused the Manchurian plague was also caused by an animal.

The deadly epidemic spread through China and threatened to become a pandemic. Its origins appeared to be related to the trade in wild animals, but at the time no one was sure. In the autumn of 1910, humans encountered the bacillus that causes plague, Yersinia pestis, when markets spurred exploitation of animals on another Asian borderland, a part of northeastern China on the border with Russia and Mongolia known as Manchuria. This region is home to a burrowing groundhog-like animal, the Tarbagan marmot. which became an attractive source for furs at the turn of the 19th century. The trapping and skinning of millions of marmots resulted in the transfer of Yersinia pestis directly into the lungs of humans and gave rise to the pneumonic plague.

Trying to find the source and the initial outbreak of the plague is hard, but it was first officially noted by Russian doctors in Manzhouli, an Inner Mongolian town on the Chinese-Russian border, which had developed around the China Eastern Railway . The symptoms were alarming — fever followed by haemoptysis (the coughing up of blood). In Manzhouli, the dead were left in the street and railway freight cars were turned into quarantine wards.

The epidemic hit international headlines when it reached the northeastern city of Harbin, which was then part of the area known as Manchuria , in today’s Heilongjiang province. The majority of the territory was Chinese-governed. While Japan controlled the port area around Dalian, Russia ran Manchuria’s railways.

In 1911, scientists working in Asia had only recently identified the microorganism that caused plague (Yersinia pestis, then known as Bacillus pestis), and many unanswered questions remained about the plague’s ecology, epidemiology, and infectivity, the same questions scientists today are asking about SARS-CoV-2.

Teams of researchers from different nations came to Manchuria to study these questions through work in laboratories, clinics, and the field, as well as through investigations into the plague.

Just as viruses spread fast along airline routes today, back then the railways facilitated the spread. Fear in Manzhouli meant many people followed the routes the marmot hides had taken along the CER to the Heilongjiang city of Qiqihar, and then on to Harbin.

At the time, Doctor Wu Lien-teh, was managing to contain the outbreak. Wu began post-mortem exams of victims and crucially established that the disease was pneumonic plague and not bubonic.

Legend has it that there was a French medical professor from Peiyang Medical College in Tianjin, Dr Girard Mesny, who believed Wu’s diagnosis was incorrect and wanted to replace him as the man leading the operation against the epidemic. Believing that it was a disease of the glands, he examined four patients without a facemask. He contracted the virus and died on January 11.

Wu knew he was working towards a looming deadline l. Chinese New Year was officially January 30 and He knew that limiting travel would be almost impossible during the annual migration home for so many Chinese people.
If the infection rate wasn’t brought down, then it risked becoming a nationwide epidemic.
The response was sometimes harsh ,any lodging house where an infection appeared was burnt to the ground. But overall Wu’s anti-plague measures worked. So-called “sanitary zones,” quarantines, lockdowns, isolation, travel restrictions and face masks were all implemented. Quarantine centres were established, mostly in converted rail freight cars. If the quarantined didn’t show symptoms within five-to-ten days they were released with a wire wristband fastened with a lead seal stating they were plague free. The measures appeared to have brought the infection rate in Harbin down by the end of January.
However, unfortunately Infections had spread along the rail line. By the start of January 1911, Shenyang had over 2,571 deaths. Eventually, quarantining and travel restrictions in Shenyang began to take effect and the infection rate fell. But the rail line extended onwards and several towns close to the major port city of Dalian reported cases.

In 1911, there was no WHO. The response to the epidemic, hence, was left to individual nations.

The shutdown of Dalian port stopped the spread out from Manchuria to major destinations in Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and elsewhere in Asia.

Wu’s draconian methods had also proved to be successful. The last case was recorded on March 1, 1911.

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sources

https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/full/10.2105/AJPH.2020.305960

https://www.wionews.com/world/of-the-great-manchurian-plague-of-1911-and-its-lessons-293564

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/04/18/china/great-manchurian-plague-china-hnk-intl/index.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manchurian_plague

Wash your hands.

wash

With the Covid 19 virus sweeping the world, you’d swear that washing your hands has become a new thing. How some media talk about it sounds sometimes like a new fashion trend.

People have been told to wash their hands long before Covid 19 made an appearance.Below are some examples of “Wash your hands” campaign from many years ago from different countries.

A Dutch campaign- “Paper is good but hand washing is better.”

nl

From the USSR  “Dirty hands mean trouble. In order to not get sick, be cultured: before eating, wash your hands with soap!”

ussr

USA-“Wash your hands often”

usa

Wash your hands and stay safe.

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Toilet Paper

tp

When I first started doing my blogs I never though I would be writing about toilet paper one day, but due this upsurge in the fascination with toilet paper , caused by the Covid 19 crisis, I felt compelled to have a quick look at the history of toilet paper.

Below are just some key events in relation to the evolution of the paper that has become such a popular item recently.

Prior to the use of paper these implements were used to clean one’s behind.

wc

The use of toilet paper in human history dates back to the 6th century AD, in early medieval China. In 589 AD the scholar-official Yan Zhitui (531–591) wrote about the use of toilet paper:

“Paper on which there are quotations or commentaries from the Five Classics or the names of sages, I dare not use for toilet purposes”

During the later Tang dynasty (618–907 AD), an Arab traveller to China in the year 851 AD remarked:

.”the Chinese] do not wash themselves with water when they have done their necessities; but they only wipe themselves with paper”

The rise of publishing by the eighteenth century led to the use of newspapers and cheap editions of popular books for cleansing. Lord Chesterfield, in a letter to his son in 1747, told of a man who purchased

“a common edition of Horace, of which he tore off gradually a couple of pages, carried them with him to that necessary place, read them first, and then sent them down as a sacrifice to Cloacina; thus was so much time fairly gained”

Other times political manifestos were used to wipe one’s bum as a matter of protest.

wc p

Joseph Gayetty is widely credited with being the inventor of modern commercially available toilet paper in the United States. Gayetty’s paper, first introduced in 1857, was available as late as the 1920s. Gayetty’s Medicated Paper was sold in packages of flat sheets, watermarked with the inventor’s name. Original advertisements for the product used the tagline “The greatest necessity of the age! Gayetty’s medicated paper for the water-closet.”

Seth Wheeler of Albany, New York, obtained the earliest United States patents for toilet paper and dispensers, the types of which eventually were in common use in that country, in 1883.Toilet paper dispensed from rolls was popularized when the Scott Paper Company began marketing it in 1890.

The rolled toilet paper that we use today, which is perforated, was created in the 1880’s. Toilet paper varies immensely; size, roughness, weight, resistance, residues, water-absorption, etc.

The bigger companies invest time and money in surveys to figure out which requirements sell best. This can lead to the adding of aloe in the paper, for a softer feeling paper.

1

The manufacturing of this product had a long period of refinement, considering that as late as the 1930s, a selling point of the Northern Tissue company was that their toilet paper was “splinter free” Imagine that up until 1935 cleaning your butt was a dangerous business.

qn

 

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I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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Sources

Vintage News

Wikipedia