Atlanta Journal – 1915
This week, Chattooga County residents have been hearing a lot about COVID-19 and several Chattooga County residents are self-quarantined while waiting to hear back from Coronavirus testing. One hundred-five-years-ago Chattooga County citizens were being quarantined over a different disease – Smallpox.
Smallpox had been around, and known about, for thousands of years. In fact, incidents of smallpox in America date back to the late 1500’s. At the turn of the last century a smallpox outbreak in the Northeastern United States killed hundreds. At the time, many government officials turned a blind eye to the disease, believing it only affected the poor and lower classes. Of course, they were proved wrong.
In the above article from the Atlanta Journal, we read about people being quarantined in Chattooga County and surrounding areas. In fact, if you rode the train between Lyerly and Summerville and got off without a certificate from a physician, you would be “locked up.”
Smallpox had a fatality rate of about 17%, but eventually a vaccine was developed and by the late 1970’s the disease virtually disappeared worldwide.
As we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, it is helpful to look back and remember that we have survived these kinds of things before and there is always hope for the future.
The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. – Ecclesiastes 1:9