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Christian Scientists and the 1918 Flu Pandemic
One estimate of the number of people around the world who died during the 1918 pandemic is 50 million. But it's more important to remember that many more people who got the disease survived. No figures exist that could say quantitatively how Christian Scientists fared, but if you look through back issues of the Sentinel and its sister publication The Christian Science Journal for the period, you'll find many testimonials of people who were healed of the disease, often very quickly.
Louis E. Scholl's article for the Garfield (Washington) Enterprise, which was published during the pandemic, indicates that the example set by Christian Scientists was encouraging. "Dr. W.C. Witte, city sanitarian ... [in Des Moines, Iowa, during the epidemic], said: 'There is no question that by a right attitude of mind [Christian Scientists] have kept themselves free from illness. I have no doubt that many persons have contracted the disease through fear. People can deceive themselves into thinking they have any disease on the calendar, and doubtless many of them have thought themselves into their graves. Fear is the first thing to be overcome, the first step in conquering this epidemic. I am not a Christian Scientist, but I believe that an application of their principles will materially aid in preserving the health of this community. They did not originate with Scientists, but are to be found by anyone who will take the trouble to read the Bible' " (reprinted in the Christian Science Sentinel, March 15, 1919, pp. 548-549).
The gift of health
with contributions from Amanda Peters Beaworthy, Don Snyder, T. Jewell Collins
ITEMS of INTEREST
with contributions from Christie Storm, Sarah Hofius, Manish Pachouly, Charles Honey
you are EXEMPT FROM THE FLU
By Rosalie E. Dunbar
PRAYER OFFERS PROTECTION
FAITH WITH GOOD WORKS IN HAITI
By Marilyn Jones
By Kim Shippey
JOURNEYING WITH MOSES: A conversation with Val Kilmer
By Channing Walker
Angels at our side
By Dee Miller
Woven into a world-encircling love
By Michaela Von Burski
While his team practiced . . .
By Barbara Vining
By Kirk Jones
'Please unite us'
By Tom Black
Seasonal colds and flu subsided
Healed in the presence of God
My victory over childhood paralysis