Flu outbreak, 1919.


From the reports we constantly receive from the Board of Health every day, the Influenza sickness, also known by the name the “flu” is spreading all over, but there are not many deaths, like what is understood about this sickness in places far away from Hawaii.

In order for the public to be saved from the quick spread of this sickness, the holding of prayer gatherings, as well as playing of movies, and establishments where people gather, have been banned, because of the thought of the heads of the Board of Health that it is the only way the great spread of this kind of sickness will not happen.

As for schools, the Board of Health has allowed them to open normally everyday, being that it is an easy mean to keep going on until sick children are found, rather than letting children stay at home where it is very difficult to know about the sick ones.

This Monday, when school began, there were many children who did not show up at their schools, and when it was investigated, there were many children stayed home that were withheld by their parents, being that these were days with rain showers, and the Superintendent of Public Instruction Kinney approved of that action by the parents, because during this time when the flu is about, children should be guarded against them catching the cold.

It is Better to Go to School

Mr. Kinney [superintendent of public instruction] went around this past Tuesday to inspect the schools, and when he asked of the opinions of the teachers, they made clear to him that it is better to hold classes everyday, because in that way, the children will continue the practices that will afford them good health; for they are playing most of the time, mixed up with the healthy children, but during that period, the weakly ones can clearly be seen, and for those children, they are ordered back home, and are not to return to school until their sickness is relieved.

There are Many Sick in Manoa

At the government school in Manoa, according to what is said, there are many students who are afflicted by this sickness, whose number reach about a hundred, and at the school of the Salvation Army [Puali Hoola], a majority of the students have the sickness, with a very few of them attending school.

From when the order pertaining to businesses from the Board of Health came out prohibiting the holding of prayer gatherings in churches of this town, and so too with the opening of movie theaters and meetings within buildings; some people believe that this is not right at all, the prohibiting of churches, while allowing the opening of schools, because according to them, prayer meetings are held for only a short time, while as for schools, the teachers hold their classes until two in the afternoon.

Gatherings of all sorts are allowed if held outside of buildings, therefore for that reason, there have been many prayer gatherings held this past Sunday, and some churches have completely stopped holding prayer gatherings.

There are Many Sick in Waipahu

In the report submitted at the Board of Health, this past Tuesday, there were only three deaths resulting from this epidemic; at this rate there will be no fear, and there is worry that the sickness will continue to spread all over.

In Waipahu, according to Dr. McGettigan, there are forty-three patients in the hospital there, and within that number, thirty-five have the flu, and twelve have actual pneumonia.

But according to that doctor, he hopes that in the coming days, there will be seen much less of this type of sickness, until it is totally gone.

Hawaii’s Report

There are forty-two new patients reported by the Board of Health from Hawaii, from when the Mauna Kea arrived this past Tuesday. One of those sick was seen at Wainaku near Hilo, and the majority of the sick were in Kohala.

As for Maui, there is also the flu being spread there, for in the report received by the Board of Health in Wailuku, there are one hundred people who have this type of sickness, and a majority of them are school children.

In Lahaina, Paia, and Hamakua Poko, the status remains the same in those places, and a guard has been placed to watch the villages of the sugar plantation workers.

[Corona is not the flu. What do you think about what went on then and what is going on now? What can we do better?]

(Kuokoa, 1/31/1919, p. 2)


Ka Nupepa Kuokoa, Buke LVII, Helu 5, Aoao 2. Ianuari 31, 1919.


2 thoughts on “Flu outbreak, 1919.

  1. Last year I reviewed the text by Malcolm Chun, entitled ‘Must we wait in despair.” It led me to believe that Hawaiʻi has been exposed to prior epidemics, where medical care was inadequate and not available to everyone. Medicines were inadequate and in short supply.
    When the news of the SARS COV-2 virus began to show up on Chinese medical reports, early this year, I had no idea that it would spread so rapidly, across the globe. A colleague met me at an international scientific conference in January, and told me that he had just arrived from Wuhan, just before lockdown.
    Today, spreading of a viral infectious disease is facilitated by travel by air, land or sea.
    Sadly, our ports of entry continue to allow travellers to enter Hawaiʻi, without strict quarantine protocols.
    As seen in historical documents, quarantines were responsible for controlling the incidence and spread of the diseases.


  2. This just popped up:
    I’ve posted about this now 4 times at least.
    I’m going to say it again.
    International travel will lock down further in Sept.
    It’s now one week into August.
    Expect two full years of this barrier to international travel.
    Get to where you want to be for the next 2 years.
    If you are separated from your kids, like me, expect that won’t change.
    Victoria, Australia just started Level 4 lockdown with curfews a couple days ago. You will get arrested if you break it for next six weeks. The source of the new outbreaks was people not properly quarantining from international arrivals. Private security forces were lax.
    Hong Kong is on 3rd lockdown. The source of the new outbreaks was people not properly quarantining from international arrivals. Especially air crews and seamen.
    China’s outbreaks are all on the border towns (Korea, Russia, Vietnam/Thailand).
    China hasn’t let foreigners in since March 28. Only if you have massive diplomatic pull do you maybe have a tiny chance of coming in.
    No one really wants people from US to visit them. How many countries allow US in? Is it still 3?
    New Zealand just rejected my application for exemption status outright. “Don’t reply to this email.”
    The island nation of Tonga hasn’t let people in since the start because they just can’t handle the medical care. Period.
    Even if you can fly internationally into a country, can you afford the flights?
    Even if you can afford the flights, are you interested in quarantining 2+ weeks each way? That’s a month of your life in a room.


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