THE GRISLY HAND.
Observer, Volume XL, Issue 13, 29 November 1919, Page 3
THE GRISLY HAND.
And the Pestilence
THE pathetic "In Memoriam" notices published in the daily papers throughout New Zealand rejnind-.the )public of the hideous visitation of "fhimonia" of last year, and might suggest (if the memory of the people was not so short), persistent means of- keeping this horrible disease and other epidemic visitations away. During the visitation of last year the people were forced by fright and organisation to be hygienic. It is not neoessary to be acutely observant to notice that many of the lessons learnt in November, 1918, have been quite forgotten. What was then said about personal and domestic cleanliness,, slums, and fresh air is applicable now. The same menaces to health exist in November, 1919, as existed in 1918, and apparently, although science has been busy in the interim, there is. no evidence that it can prevent a recurrence.
A British Medical Research Committee has disclosed the terrifying fact that "flumonia" killed more young people than the Avar did. It is now recognised as a virulent plague, and research into its cause and incidence recommended.
Up to the pneumonic visitation of influenza* this disease Avas regarded as a trifling complaint, at Avhich the person who didn't happen to have it might laugh, and it Avas placed in the same category as measles, mumps and scarlet fever, Avhich the ignorant ahvays presume a child MUST liaA-c. These diseases, hoAvever, kill millions of children, and the Medical Committee include these by no means "simple" childish complaints in the list of diseases about which research is to be made and facts discoA'cred.
No human being HAS to HAVE any disease at all. There are people who'are unable to CATCH any disease at all, and it is the noble business of the medical scientist to increase the immunity which only a proportion of people enjoy.
As far as Auckland is concerned, the advice of the Health Department issued during the flumonia epidemic is good advice noAV, but generally the aA-erage citizen disregards any such advice as if he were immortal. The chief sin of the Aucklander, for Avhich he always'pays, is that he considers fresh air inside a house, a car, or a railway train, as poison iiiA-ented for his destruction.