Dear Editor:

In 1918-19, the Spanish Flu Pandemic was raging in the United States, South Dakota and Vermillion. In early 1918, many people (adults and children) were infected, and many died.

The State, Vermillion and the University reacted to protect students, and citizens. State and local officials took preventative and protective measures. The University, for example, shut down and sent the students home.

The history books indicate that the Spanish Flu Pandemic seemed to recede in the later spring and summer. Officials in South Dakota decided to “open” the State and the University despite warnings from scientific and medical experts.

So, the State dropped medical protections and the University “reopened” fully. As predicted by the scientists, the Pandemic killed many people in later 1918.

For purposes of the Covid-19 Pandemic, we might observe that the “second” (or later) waves of a pandemic flu are at least as dangerous as the early waves.

History, of course, is not destiny. There are distinctions between 1918 and 2020-22.

The main difference is that today we have vaccines and treatments for the Covid-19 virus. We can protect some people against serious illness, hospitalization and death. That is, moreover, a great accomplishment by our medical, scientific and pharmaceutical industries.

Our state and federal officials need to understand that, notwithstanding their rhetoric and political posturing, the subsequent waves of the Pandemic pose a grave public health threat.

Hopefully, our State officials will protect us against the waves of Covid-19 virus yet to sweep the State.

Yours truly,

David S. Day


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