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What the Pandemic Christmas of 1918 Looked Like

By Livia Gershon, SmithsonianMag.com

Concerns about the safety of gift shopping, family gatherings and church services were on Americans’ minds then, too.

As municipalities determined what public activities should or shouldn’t be permitted, people were puzzling through their own choices about how to celebrate the holidays.

On December 21, 1918, the Ohio State Journal published a warning about the lingering flu pandemic from the state’s acting health commissioner: “Beware the mistletoe…”

Christmas 1918 was not Christmas 2020. The pandemic had already peaked in the U.S. in the fall of 1918 as part of the disease’s second wave.

Read the rest of the story here…

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