The Christmas of 1918

What was the mood then?
In many ways, Americans were worse off than we are now. The nation had just endured the second, and by far the deadliest, wave of the Spanish flu pandemic, caused by the H1N1 virus originating in birds. The initial wave had started the previous March, spreading from an Army base in Kansas, but it was relatively mild, with a low death rate. When the virus reared its head again in September, though, it had mutated into a far deadlier strain — one that killed victims within days or even hours of the onset of symptoms.


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