|1918 Canadians protecting themselves from deadly “Spanish flu” virus, that likely originated in China|
Deadly viruses arriving from China and killing millions around the world are not new. The Chinese were responsible for the Bubonic plague of the Middle Ages, which killed 25% to 60% of the European population. They were also responsible for Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, which killed as many as 50 million worldwide.
According to Professor Mark Humphries (Wilfrid Laurier University) “new research in British and Canadian archives reveals that the 1918 Spanish flu most likely emerged first in China in the winter of 1917-18.” This was near the end of World War I. His research looks at three often-cited origins of the disease: The United States, France and China. He concludes that China is the site that makes most sense.
The insights provided by Professor Humphries in his 2014 research should have accentuated the absolute necessity for health checks on immigrants/migrants coming to Canada—particularly at this time of the Corona virus. A large percentage of Canada’s current immigrants come from China and India whose environments have been described respectively as an “environmental catastrophe” and an “environmental disaster”.
Let us translate for the benefit of uninformed Trudeau, ethnic Chinese NDP MP Jenny Kwan, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, and a host of equally uninformed MP’s and politicians: The terms “Environmental catastrophe” and “environmental disaster” mean “breeding grounds for viruses”. A large percentage of Canada’s immigrants come from those breeding grounds.
However, instead of recognizing the absolute necessity for health checks, Kwan and many other politicians in the past few years have advocated for the abolition of health checks. Consider also that Trudeau ‘s foolish declaration in 2015 that “Canada would take all refugees” has resulted in Canada taking thousands of fake refugees from Ebola-riddled Nigeria. Finally, note that Trudeau also mined the Russian province of Chechnya in search of gays. Those people are potential carriers of HIV.
Here are some important details in Professor Humphries’ research that Trudeau, all MP’s and other politicians should note:
- The deadliest epidemics in history have been those which occurred when previously isolated populations came into sustained contact with one another. The three worst were The Plague of Justinian in the Byzantine Empire (541-542 AD), the Black Death in Europe (1347-1400 AD) and the smallpox epidemic in the New “World”.populations (1500 AD +).
- As early as 1914, “public health officials feared that a global war might bring new diseases home to civilian populations.” In August, 1914, Canada’s future Surgeon-General, Dr. Guy Carleton Jones, ominously wrote : “The trail of infected armies leaves a sad tale of sickness amongst the women and children and non-combatants.” (P.56) According to The Canadian Encyclopedia, the Spanish flu (really the Chinese flu) killed about 40,000 Canadians.
- The 1918 Flu started in China but it spread around the world because formerly-isolated, virus-carrying Chinese came into contact with Canadians, Americans, British, French, other Europeans and then Africans who had had little previous contact with one another.
- The contact between the Chinese and other populations happened because the British/French allies in WW1 against Germany needed a large number of workers to do mostly non-combatant work (loading and unloading ships, etc,) behind the front lines of World War I. The British and the French negotiated with China to bring large numbers of Chinese to Europe. The workers were referred to as the “Chinese Labour Corps” When British authorities saw signs of health dangers, they could have reduced the inflow, but felt committed to the Chinese.
- The British asked Canada to help with transporting the Chinese to Europe. Canada agreed. Canada soon accepted the Chinese at its west coast ports (William Head near Victoria first and then Vancouver). It then put the Chinese on CPR trains which took the Chinese to Halifax or to U.S. ports. The Canadian government kept the agreement completely secret. It housed the Chinese in its quarantine facility at William Head. It did examine the Chinese for diseases such as trachoma (a contagious inflammation of the eyelids) and external parasites. It also looked out for signs of flu. When the Chinese were considered ready to leave, they were taken to Vancouver and transferred to trains. It took many cross-country trips to send all the Chinese out. Each train car was guarded by Canadian soldiers and sealed. Dr. James Morton, in his book titled In The Sea of Sterile Mountains, says that about 200,000 Chinese Labour Corps members were transported to Canada’s east coast. (P. 229) The trains stopped in Petawawa, Ontario to give the Chinese labourers a rest and then resumed the trip to Halifax. The Chinese labourers were then moved on to ships which took them to southern England. From England, they were moved to France. One big question that Professor Humphries does not deal with is this: What role did the guards play in spreading the disease when they left their work? Humphries says that during 1917-18 alone, 94,000 Chinese workers were shipped by the British from China. (P.72)
- Professor Humphries says: “We now know that influenza is caused by a virus which finds its natural home in wild ducks and only infects humans when it crosses the species barrier, sometimes directly passing from birds to people, sometimes passing through an intermediary species such as pigs or horses. When an animal virus becomes a human disease, it has the potential to cause a pandemic because people have no prior immunity. There have been five such episodes in the past 125 years (1889, 1918, 1957, 1968, and 2009); the 1918 virus was by far the most severe, and researchers are still not sure why.” (P. 58)
- As with the corona virus now, Chinese medical officials and political authorities downplayed and covered up the extent and severity of the influenza in Northern China where the Chinese labourers lived. They resented the concerns of an international legation (French and British mostly). When one of their own, a Chinese Doctor Wu who had been trained in Europe, agreed with the international legation, they fired him.
- The records of the majority of Chinese Labour Corps units do not appear to have survived in (Canadian?) archives, but references to the Chinese Labour Corps in the files of other units are informative. The first reports of influenza refer directly to members of the Chinese Labour Corps (April, 2018).
- British records reported that an epidemic of influenza was in progress in Plymouth, England in late July of 1918. CLC members were there in large numbers. An Australian-built ship, the Mantua which left Plymouth on a trip to Freeport in British west Africa, soon reported that 176 sailors were sick with influenza and pneumonia. Ten sailors died and the disease spread in the city of Freeport. From there, the disease spread down the west coast of Africa. Other ships leaving Europe spread the disease to U.S. ports such as Boston. The disease then spread to all of Massachusetts and New York State. Over the next few months, 675,000 Americans died of influenza or pneumonia.
- The mobilization of the Chinese Labour Corps moved tens of thousands from the interior of northern China where a confirmed outbreak of a virulent respiratory disease had occurred. Let us repeat: The disease eventually killed more then 50 million people. The term “Spanish flu” was used not because the flu originated in Spain, but because Spain kept detailed records on the flu.
- In Humphries words, “The result (of the migration of the Chinese Labour Corps) was the most deadly disease event in history.” (P.81)
Would Canadians be far off in labeling Trudeau, his “Diversity is Canada’s strength” policy and a host of Canada’s politicians as Canada’s “real National Viruses”?
Sources: Council of European Canadians, published on 2020-02-07