A century ago, during the Spanish Influenza, theater performances and public dances were prohibited in Cowlitz County.
Now, as the community faces similar shutdowns and bans on social gatherings due to the new coronavirus, the Cowlitz County Historical Museum reminds us, “Just as the Spanish Flu passed and became history, this too shall pass.”
In a letter to museum members and supporters on Tuesday, Museum Director Joseph Govednik shared an article from 1996 about how Cowlitz County responded to the 1918 Spanish Flu. The results seem to mirror current events, he said. (To download the article, visit www.co.cowlitz.wa.us/Museum)
“During these uncertain times, we must keep perspective that throughout our history, humans have persevered among immense challenges,” Govednik wrote. “The recent COVID-19 pandemic is a reminder that although there is great concern, we should focus on standing strong together. I have been inspired by the efforts of our community to support each other in any way possible.”
Govednik applauded the efforts of local medical professionals, grocery store employees and distilleries transitioning to make sanitizer to combat the new coronavirus.
“As a repository of Cowlitz County history, we have a responsibility to preserve, collect, and maintain a record of this event for future generations,” he wrote. “Just as we can learn from the historical record of the Spanish Flu pandemic, we strive to preserve our stories for the benefit of our children, grandchildren, and beyond.”