Way Back When: The Spanish Flu Invades Santa Barbara

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Way Back When: The Spanish Flu Invades Santa Barbara
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Image: Healdsburg Enterprise, November 9, 1918

By Betsy J. Green

Everything changed here on October 14, 1918 with the large headline, “‘Flu’ Invades Santa Barbara; Schools, Movies, Other Public Gathering Places May Close.” The subhead continued, “Fifty Cases, Five Serious Ones, Already Reported in City.” Meetings were cancelled or postponed, and the schools and churches closed. “No public services will be held at the Old Mission Sunday for the first time in its 132 years of existence . . . For the first time in its history, parishioners will not assemble to hear Mass.”

Some people just stayed home. Many of those who went out wore masks or scarves. Doctors, nurses, other health workers, and anyone with a cold or flu were required to wear masks. Barbers, dentists, and pharmacists were advised to wear masks. The local Red Cross jumped into action and made 1400 masks. Some people made their own masks.


Betsy's Way Back When book -- 1919 -- is now available in local bookstores and at Amazon.com. This is the sixth book in her series of the history of Santa Barbara, one year at a time. Learn more at betsyjgreen.com​

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a-1586108366 Apr 05, 2020 10:39 AM
Way Back When: The Spanish Flu Invades Santa Barbara

Yes, Cabrilho DID land here in 1542 & deposit soldiers.
Spain returned in 1609 & again in the 1700's, but not all dates get submitted correctly due to revision..
But most important, is the assumption that only europeans could possibly have medical knowledge pertaining to physiology..we (natives) were very medically advanced & knew.

El Barbareno Apr 05, 2020 09:56 AM
Way Back When: The Spanish Flu Invades Santa Barbara

Cabrillo did not land in Santa Barbara in 1542 nor did he leave sailors behind. Nor was any of it "biological warfare." The awareness of germs and contagion came around the mid1800s.

tagdes Apr 04, 2020 08:28 PM
Way Back When: The Spanish Flu Invades Santa Barbara

Notable is that they never really found where this flu came from. It's only called the Spanish Flu since they were the first to report it because they were neutral and the warring countries didn't publish the bad news. First US case was at Fort Riley Kansas.

a-1586031377 Apr 04, 2020 01:16 PM
Way Back When: The Spanish Flu Invades Santa Barbara

In 1542, Cabrilho landed & deposited soldiers to stay.
2 generations later, after europeans disease did it's damage, the Spanish returned to a more docile shore..see?..
Biological warfare came to Syuxtun in the form of disease, 500 years ago.

SoapBox Apr 04, 2020 11:15 AM
Way Back When: The Spanish Flu Invades Santa Barbara

Predictably, there will be those who believe that if something was good enough 100 or so years ago, it should be good enough for today. Thankfully, we have progressed in our understanding about medicine ... and so much else.

midair Apr 04, 2020 06:24 PM
Way Back When: The Spanish Flu Invades Santa Barbara

They were referring to a comment, since deleted by the Edhat censorship bureau, about calling the Spanish flu "Spanish" but not being allowed to call this a "chinese virus". It was just typical Trump acolyte stuff.

pstarSR Apr 04, 2020 05:51 PM
Way Back When: The Spanish Flu Invades Santa Barbara

and that meant what? I didnt read anything in this editorial that stated to do something from 100years ago. if you are refereing to masks? well, sometimes things 100 years old, still work when used correctly.

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