The 1918-19 flu pandemic extremely bad, without question. Profoundly traumatic. World wide, killed 50 million and infected one third of the world’s population.

The flu killed 675,000 in the U.S. alone.

Nineteen nineteen an especially bad year for the U.S. The country was still batting the pandemic, just fought a war, and was in deep recession.

Strikes commonplace.

The summer of 1919 was also known as the Red Summer where white mobs violently attacked black communities.

The black communities did not take the onslaught quietly. Many had fought for the U.S. in World War I. They fought back. They were tired of unequal citizenship.

In the years immediately following World War I, people were reluctant to speak about the flu epidemic. For whatever reason. The flu became “America’s forgotten pandemic.”

The medical profession was bothered. They thought medicine had reached the point that doctors could deal with any disease. The flu fooled them, however.

Mask wearing rules faced resistance. Many complained and resisted. Two forms of resistance. One refusing to wear a mask at all. The other smokers who poked a hole in the mask so they could smoke.

Schools and places of public commitment were closed, “no spitting” ordinances enforced, and wearing masks in public was mandatory.

There was a second wave. It was worse than the first. Lasted 3 months and was described as “especially cruel.”

Scientists attributed the second wave being worse because the virus had mutated late in the fall of 1918. The muted version was spread more easily because of wartime troop movements.

Today is Bastille Day in France. A major holiday. Also known as French National Day, Fete Nationale.

It was July 14, 1789. Known to the French as le quatorze juillet.

Bastille Day is the anniversary of the French people storming the general fortress Bastille. Infamous for holding political prisoners.

The French Revolution was already underway. The successful storming of the Bastille marked the turning point in the Revolution.

Many non French believe the storming of the Bastille was to release prisoners. Not so. In fact, there were only 7 held. The purpose was to capture the ammunition and gunpowder known to be stored in the prison.

This year’s fiscal budget off the wall. Expected to be $2.7 trillion. Never before has the government spent so much.

Reason therefore is attributed to Covid-19 spending. Described by some as spending “madness.”

Dana Milbank wrote in an Opinion piece in the Washington Post this weekend: “The one constant in Trump’s Presidency: Tomorrow will be worse.”

Safety of a people has always been the highest law. The primary responsibility of a leader. As far back as 106 BC, the Roman philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero said, “The safety of the people shall be the highest law.”

Three Trump statements that have not stood the test of time.

“I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will have Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words.”

“I have a great relationship with Africa Americans, as you have possibly have heard. I just have got respect for them. And they like me. I like them.”

“I beat China all the time. All the time.”

Speaking of China, Trump has done everything possible to aggravate another great nation. The U.S. and China are 1 and 2 in power and greatness. No one sure who is first.

Trump has “pissed” on China every opportunity he has had. China is reaching the breaking point. A get off my back or don’t tread on me situation.

I have felt for the past 2-3 years that here could be a U.S./China conflict and I was not sure who would win. Better to keep them a friend rather than an enemy.

Republican Congressman Ted Yoho predicts a U.S./China clash in the next 3 months. The basis of his belief is that Trump keeps pushing China thereby creating a trend to war.

Some military experts believe China is conducting a cold war already. A cold war can turn hot quickly.

Some are of the opinion that a war could start by China testing the U.S. How? By ramming a U.S. vessel in the South China Sea.

A Monroe County/Key West update.

As of yesterday, 611 coronavirus cases in all of Monroe County. Forty five “new” as of yesterday.

Key West amended its emergency directives: Mask wearing mandatory everywhere, except for one’s own residence.

The Key West Citizen continues to perform well in providing daily entries from the diaries of William Hackley and May Johnson. Years apart, each never the less interesting.

Hackley’s July 13, 1855 entry concerns his newborn baby. No name shared yet. Referred to as “Baby.”

William’s wife Matilda not producing enough breast milk for Baby. Baby starving and apparently coming down with other things as a result.

William got 3 goats to supply milk. One he had shipped in from Cuba. All 3 failed.

William’s 7/13 entry reflective of pediatric care 1855: “Baby slept from 3 am to 7:30 am. About 9, Hatty ran down to tell me Baby had a spasm. Matilda said the babe stiffened herself and rolled up here eyes. Put her in a tepid bath, gave her about 6 drops of Godfrey’s Cordial and injected about one drop of Laudanum and 6 of Asafoetida which caused her to sleep from about 10 am to about 9 pm without being able to awaken her at chatty time, and she sucked a little, and being put to breast sucked well and worked fully and on going to sleep again woke herself at 4 apparently free of the disease, except that her mouth is sore apparently the thrush. We could hardly believe so small a quantity of Laudanum could narcotize a child.”

The next day was 7/14. William wrote that Baby was better.

May Johnson’s diary covers 1896. Two generations separate William and May.

On 7/14, May wrote, “Killed chicken, picked him.”

Reminded me of the grandmothers of my youth. If they had a live chicken, the chicken was grabbed by the head, held over the sink, and the head chopped off with a big bread knife in one swift stroke.

Thus far, the County has not asked the State to cancel mini-lobster season. A bad move! It should be done! The virus galore will be visiting Key West for 3 days later this month.

The failure of the County to do so will reflect its decisions being made in the best interests of the business community and not the health of the people generally.

Tonight, Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Join me for a real fun time. Listen to me rant and rave about what I think. Nine my time.

Enjoy your day!




  1. Today’s situation compared to the 1918 flu seems like deja vu all over again. What was that old saying about not learning from history or something?

    • Trumps said he didn’t know Stormy Daniels

      Trump said the flu would begone by March

      Trump said Jeff Sessions was doing a great Job as Attorney General.

      Trump said Michael Cohen was a great Lawyer.

      Trump said he barely knew Jeffery Epstein.

      Trump said he didn’t have any business dealings going on with Russia.

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