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Written by Larry Roeder, Editor
April 01, 2020

In our Four-County-Corner of the Commonwealth


            Fear and uncertainty along with rumors and untruths abound in today's world as the COVID-19 virus brings many of our daily routines and actions to a halt. 

            We now live in a time of social distancing, increased cleanliness practices,

improving our respiratory hygiene, self-quarantine and other precautions to protect our health and the health of others.

            We also live in a time of modern medical practices, institutions and highly

  • Some of the "home remedies" that were published during the influenza epidemic of 1918.  Perhaps your grandparents or great-grandparents used one or more of them.  Of course, they are not recommended in 2020.

    • Take warm water, previously boiled, mix with two parts of glycerin, put in atomizer and spray nose and throat freely during the day and also at night.
    • Take a handful of lukewarm, boiled milk into your nose and retain awhile until milk works into tissue.
    • Drink hot milk with sweet butter, a teaspoon full of butter to a cup of milk, during the day and especially before going to retire.
    • Don't drink any water except that which is boiled and cooled.
    • Drink plenty of weak tea with plenty of sugar or honey preferred.
    • Take purgative pills to clean the stomach of the mucous which is swallowed from mouth.
    • Handkerchiefs used for the nose ought to be put, after using, right into a pail and covered with boiling water.
    • Wash the hands often with antiseptic soap.
    • Don't stay in damp rooms.
    • Furniture in the home should be cleaned with a cloth moistened with coal oil.
    • Put a couple of drops of vinegar on a hot stove and let the vapor go through the whole house.
    • Put a drop of peppermint oil on a cube of sugar and take three or four times a day.
    • If sleepless and have pressure on chest, call doctor at once.
    • Let fresh air go through the rooms but see that the person is well covered during the night.
    • Inhale plenty of odor of pine oil.
    • Don't neglect walks in fresh air.
    • Carry a menthol inhaler and use it often.

skilled caregivers.  The horrible situation caused by COVID-19 will be defeated.  It's only a matter of time.

            There was a time when people were forced to endure much more with much less. 

It was a little over 100 years ago, in January of 1918, that the influenza pandemic began ravaging the world. 

            About 500 million people, or one-third of the world's population at the time, became infected with the H1N1 virus.  The number of deaths was estimated to be at least 50 million worldwide with about 675,000 occurring in the United States.

            In 1918, our own communities faced the reality of life during the influenza pandemic, often referred to as the "Spanish Flu."  However that moniker may not be true because when it was discovered, the virus was spreading in a world at war.  It was difficult, then and now, to piece together the exact origins of it.

            But, it was shortly after soldiers began coming home from World War I that reports of increases in flu cases grew.

            The pandemic didn't hit the news in our area until October of 1918 with the report that all but three families in the village of Perkiomenville were afflicted with the

Spared the worst of the pandemic, many East Greenville

residents attributed their good fortune to the quality of

water distributed from their water plant along the Perk-

iomen Creek in Upper Hanover Township. 

virus – 60 reported cases in the small community.  There were five cases reported in Pennsburg; 12 in Green Lane; and one death reported in the Green Lane.  In most cases, multiple members of the household were affected.

            There were also cases of influenza reported in East Greenville, Red Hill, Sumneytown, Palm and Old Zionsville but physicians had not pronounced them as cases of the "Spanish Flu."

            Schools in Collegeville, Perkasie, North Wales and Lansdale were closed.

            A week after the initial report, seven more deaths were reported in our local communities as the infected count rose to more than 200.  Factories were forced to close due to the lack of workers as well as to try and help fight the spread of the influenza virus.

            Area boards of health received word from state officials to "take definite action to prevent a possible spread."  As a result, all ...

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