Back in the day, when I was growing up in India, my father used to mention about an epidemic in and around the years 1918-1919 during the month of Kartika (as per the Indian calendar) during October. It was called Galgot which effectively meant choking of the neck or the lungs. Galgot caused the death of almost 5 Million people in the Indian sub continent alone.
It was a coincidence (or was it?) that this disease showed up when Indian soldiers came back home after fighting in the World War 1. My Dad mentioned that the winter was very severe and people were dying of Galgot in rapid succession. This, mostly in the villages when there was any medicine or treatment for such a fatal disease. Some of the home remedies prescribed during those days were to have a lot of sugarcane and bask in the sun as much as possible. There were also some herbal medicines that people used to consume. That aside, maintaining maximum cleanliness in and around the house including cleaning the house floors with cow dung as most of the homes in the villages wood have mud flooring.
The epidemic lasted until the end of March and after that it’s intensity began reducing. Come April, with summer and the bright sunshine around, the disease almost vanished, never to be heard of again. Though what was observed was that people developed an immunity to this disease. Though a lot of research was conducted, no vaccine or treatment was invented and the folklore was that it was another type of influenza. Readers would recall that Pencillin injection was invented only in 1928.
The type and the contagion of this virus seem oddly similar to the Corona virus (and has showed up under similar circumstances) and the hope is that this too shall pass just like Galgot did almost 100 years ago. I am sure we will get even with this one as well, as one human force!
Amen to that!
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