Whiskey In Hand And Life In mouth: The Spanish Flu Tales Help, Why Not CoronaVirus?

By B. Suryanarayanan

Today, the pandemic has us in holds, regulating the paths we take and the medications we consume. It has been more than a year since the devil struck, and yet, we are still reeling from the terrors they carry before the next one strikes.

The shutdown of the entire country, reducing it to a mere carton box, stationery and unresponsive didn’t help either, for the time became a momentum for everyone to turn into eximious Asclepiuses.

Bizarre solutions started getting flushed through WhatsApp, most of them hitting headlines for how insane and idiotic the solutions turned out to be, and not stopping without taking out a life in that instant. 

And, yeah, sadly here we have one of such wonderful conclusions that were drawn in a belief that they would send the virus flying away just the way it kicked the Spanish Flu out. But did it, really?

Knowing tit-bits about the Spanish flu doesn’t help either, to be frank, for many of the doctors and researchers just irritably shut down such wonderful talks travelling around town. Guess you would have gotten to the borderline of what the blanks of this article wish to complete.

Yeah, it’s the Daaru aaye Corona bhagaye doing rounds on news channels these days.

So, what’s really the big deal? People say we learn from experience, and that’s what we are doing- experimenting with a cure that was allegedly used to help people during the Spanish flu that struck in 1918.

Yes, there are a lot of unfortunate facsimiles with this pandemic and the terror of the 19th century. The flu too, started as any normal spread of the influenza, and grew out in numbers, shuffling and terrorising the lives of many in Europe and the USA. And yep, just like how the flu’s second way sucked more of humanity through vacuum, we are experiencing the same tide with no compromises on human life slipping into a siesta with eyes closed for ultimatum. 

Experts, just like today, believed that herd immunity, a phenomenon where more people get infected and, in the procedure, develop antibodies against the virus while recovering. But here is where the similarities end: the medical experts prescribing whiskey. Almost every soul was made to gulp shots of whiskey down to protect themselves from the dangerous virus. Some apothecaries believed that it helped soothe the patient’s nerves, thereby making the treatment easier without panic, while others believed that it helped the heart and the respiratory system simulate well, for the drink was believed to be a high potent sedative.

Yes, Whiskey roars high on comfort, the best choice to toast and dawn upon your gloating success, or a silent anam-cara when the day bites you to dust. But alcohol isn’t the best chaser to break down CoronaVirus.

Dr. Brian Labus, a professor of public health at the University of Nevada at LA says that booze, whiskey, alcohol or whatever people wished to call it only destroys the viruses on the surface, and that too is possible if and only if the content of alcohol is more than 60%. Trying to bring our BAC (Blood alcohol content) to such a level can straight up kill us without mercy before getting its hands dirty with the virus.

Now, some high grade intellectuals believed that pulling a stunt with the sanitizer with its effective alcohol content can push the virus out, except all fell apart to kiss the ground never to rise again. WHO advises greatly on avoiding alcohol as a prescription to cure coronavirus, for from what researches have to say, pressing the CNS to an unimaginable breakdown can prove more fatal these times than during normal days. Plus, more alcohol can decimate your immune system by parts. 

The killer is the same, the virus, but the modus operandi differs, and so does the type. Did paracetamol, the favourite of Indian households help you around when the virus struck? We were always highlighted with its glory at the times of illness, but still, it proved useless in curing us of CoronaVirus, just the way how alcohol stayed useless in spite of its infamy during the 19th century epidemic. 

Alcohol helped the black and white days because the Spanish flu rocked the world at a time when they didn’t know the alphabetics of health facilities and advanced medications. Even when it slowed down to a halt, experts continue to see grasses of cases sometime around, carrying a slight variant of A/H1N1, the devil responsible for the task, and its last seen stands at ‘2018’ when it left behind a great ruckus.

Today, we dwell in an era where treatment doesn’t lay out an issue, but the arching towards the worst does, with stupid suggestions to fill our brain. 

Alcohol isn’t the bizarre solution that you are waiting for. Your prevention is. Your cooperation is.

The strains shall come, but twist your focus to the harbinger in front. Don’t stay an all bark and no bite dog. You know well what needs to be done, and you are the only one that can help yourselves and the ones you know and love.