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Please note, this blog is solely about reading. It is not promoting or encouraging the idea of consuming alcohol in any form or manner. Modern science has progressed very much, and this is a humble request to all to visit or consult a doctor in any case of any medical emergency or need or guidance and follow only their advice. Alcohol consumption is injurious to health and the pursuittraveller does not support it. Be wise and chose wisdom.
The Spanish flu happened in 1918. At that time, whiskey came up as medicine for liberation. We may be drinking at home to ease the mental and emotional fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. But in 1918, during the deadliest pandemic in modern history. People with the Spanish flu were prescribed whisky for medical benefits. There were so many people infected with that flu. At that time, it was not possible to measure anyone’s fever or blood pressure separately. Doctors had to prescribe a cup of hot whiskey.
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Whiskey Was Medicine
A report from 1919, almost a year after the first outbreak of the Spanish flu, the whole world was in confusion. The report said that scientists at the time were advising the use of whiskey for flu patients. This liquid had bought peace of mind and reduce stress. And that helped to reduce the incidence of the disease a lot.
Also, an article published in The Times of India in April 1919 reported that scientists recommended whisky for flu patients “not only as a stimulant but a sedative too. It induces a sense of well-being and freedom from anxiety, which was certainly a help in resisting infection”.
A moderate amount of whiskey was used to treat people who were suffering from depression due to the severity of that epidemic. Even doctors and in many parts of the world, including England and America, used this whiskey to disinfect their bodies with flu. Actually, the medical science of a century ago did not see the magic of antibiotics then. At that time, aspirin and weak weapons like Vix Vaporab were used to treat colds. So whiskey was an intoxicating drink at the time as well as a means of surviving the cold. Whiskey was often used to anesthetize patients during operations.
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The same picture appeared in the memoirs of Josie Mabel Brown, a nurse in the US Navy at the time. In 1918 she served in the Navy section of the Great Lakes area near Chicago. In the aftermath of the greatest epidemic in modern history, the sick patient had to be cared for equally for 16 hours or more a day. Masks and gowns have to be worn equally. But there were so many patients at that time that they could not measure anyone’s fever separately. About 6,000 patients were under their care at that time. There was no time to measure blood pressure. They had to continue the treatment with just a cup of hot whiskey.
However, it must be remembered that excessive consumption of alcohol reduces the body’s resistance to disease. Any disease does not want to be cured easily. Not only that, but drinking too much whiskey can lead to many deadly diseases.
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Doctors Debate About Whiskey’s Medicinal Merits
The medical world was split on whether or not whiskey might help with the flu or anything else. In 1916, the prestigious United States Pharmacopeia, which issued guidelines for prescription and over-the-counter drugs, removed whiskey, brandy, and wine from its list. The representative of The American Medical Association said that “the use of alcohol as a therapeutic agent should be discouraged.”
Still, many doctors continued to recommend and prescribe whiskey for the influenza pandemic. In a survey of physicians conducted by the American Medical Association, in 1922, 51% felt whiskey was a “necessary medicinal agent.
Whiskey Sales Have Almost Tripled
Between 1918 and 1920, the Spanish flu wiped out 3 to 5 percent of the world’s population. But then everyone’s eyes were on the First World War. As a neutral country in the war, Spain did not have the manpower or the medical infrastructure to fight this epidemic. Even the king of Spain was infected with this disease. The situation in England at the time was also deplorable, as there were not enough doctors. So whiskey was an intoxicating drink at the time as well as a means of surviving the cold. Many states in the United States at the time allowed the free sale of whiskey as a treatment for flu. The same thing echoes in contemporary newspapers in Scotland and Ireland. People who drink whiskey are still a bit healthier on this scary day than the rest.
Strange figures are coming up in the statement of a whiskey seller published in a newspaper. He says sales have almost tripled since the epidemic began. Some are drinking soda, some are mixing it with East Cake or Quinine. Many said they came to buy whiskey on the advice of a doctor or after hearing from friends. There are many buyers who have never bought this drink before.
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