Black People : Anti-mask sentiment goes back 100 years to Spanish flu pandemic

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Alonewolf
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Jul 2, 2003
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'Mask Slackers' and 'Deadly' Spit: The 1918 Flu Campaigns to Shame People Into Following New Rules​

Cartoons, PSAs and streetcar signs urged Americans to follow health guidelines to keep the pandemic from spreading.

Many of the methods Americans used in 1918 to try to prevent the spread of the flu are similar to what people began doing during the COVID-19 pandemic: Close schools. Wear masks. Don’t cough or sneeze in someone’s face. Avoid large events and hold them outside when possible. And no spitting.
In western states, some cities adopted mask ordinances, and officials argued wearing one was a patriotic duty. In October 1918, the San Francisco Chronicle ran a public service announcement telling readers that “The man or woman or child who will not wear a mask now is a dangerous slacker”—a reference to the type of World War I “slacker” who didn’t help the war effort. One sign in California threatened, “Wear a Mask or Go to Jail.”

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This picture was taken in California in 1918, during the second wave of the Spanish flu pandemic that killed more than 50 million people around the world.
 

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