Masks and "social distancing" are nothing new. Over the centuries, Americans have suffered terribly from smallpox, yellow fever, cholera, typhoid, pellagra, influenza, polio, and other pandemics.
During Pres. Washington’s first term, an epidemic killed one tenth of all the inhabitants of Philadelphia, then the capital of the young United States.
A disease that no one understood laid waste a major American city. Five thousand died in two months, and Memphis was never the same again.
Underschooled and ill-equipped, the men who attended the pioneers practiced a rugged brand of medicine—but they made some major advances all the same
Yellow fever killed 4,000 in Philadelphia in 1793, and puzzled doctors ignored the real clue to blame “miasmata” in the air.