Manage episode 264548934 series 2377952
In 1918, Death wandered on his horse through the barren grounds of the frontline trenches. The war was nearly over, but the dead continued to rise in numbers. The horrors of this war were unseen up to this point in history; people lost their sons, fathers, mothers, their homes, their everything. What nobody knew is a new horror was lurking, ready to spring up with devastating effect. This came from an unseen enemy, one humanity has faced since the dawn of our existence. Reports of illness sprang up in Kansas, then quickly to the trenches. Spain, uninvolved in the war, began reporting on a strange new type of influenza afflicting the population. Soon, the world referred to this silent killer as the Spanish Flu.
As the war in the trenches continued, a new war ignited, one which infected 500 million people worldwide in 9 months, and kill between 17 million and 50 million. Hospitals became overrun with infected patients, entire Indigenous communities were wiped out, and the bodies of the dead became too much for morgues to handle. At first, governments in Europe and the US denied the severity or even the illness's existence, continuing to hold their patriotic parades and liberty drives, leading to more becoming ill rapidly. A new horseman now walked the Earth on a sickly steed, a horseman named Pestilence. Soon, the horrors of war were accompanied by the horrors of disease.
The Dance Macabre, Camille Saint-Saëns