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Friday 28th October 2016

The Great Influenza

18th January 2007

Even though it killed at least 40 million people in less than a year, the 1918 influenza pandemic's most alarming feature may have been that it nearly extinguished the basic humanitarian impulses that bind civil society together.

According to Barry, those still healthy were too panicked by the disease's violent symptoms (rib-cracking coughing spells, intense pain, a cyanosis of the skin so deep blue its like has never been seen since) to even look in on their ill neighbors. Some of the sick, and their children with them, simply starved to death for lack of attention.

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