NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)
1st December, 1918 : More than 2,000 people have died of Spanish influenza in New Zealand as the full impact of the epidemic reaches into the Pacific from Europe and South Africa. More than 1,000 deaths have been in Auckland where soldiers returned from the war have suffered heavily. The troops have been most vulnerable while returning home by ship. At least 33 men have died aboard Australian transports. Although there appear to be signs of the epidemic abating in New Zealand, Australia is now bracing against more calamitous outbreak. The ports of Sydney and Melbourne are under strict quarantine and there is alarm at the growing number of quarantined ships held in Sydney Harbour. The Leader of NSW opposition, John Storey, said Sydney is in deadly peril, but while the epidemic does not touch Melbourne where the Federal politicians are, the matter is of small moment.
[So it was not only the fear of people which made the politicians to destroy pastoral idyll and create capital Canberra as far away from them as practicable, but also fear of common people’s illnesses. / Between 1918 and 1920 estimated 20 to 50 million people died worldwide. There is some research suggesting that many deaths in developed countries could be attributed to “aspirin poisoning”. Medical science at that time, just as now, believed its infallible intuition and the pharmaceutical companies’ propaganda.]