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Grant Shelton

HIS 165R001
Dr. Gardner
April 7, 2016

1918 was a confusing time for the American people. They had
participated in and helped win the First World War, yet when their
troops returned victoriously home, the nation had plummeted into the
throes of an influenza epidemic. The outbreak was a different battle
entirely, one where infected neighbors became the enemy, and public
places turned into desolate no-mans land. Before the home front
transformed into another battlefield, however, the American people
suffered from deadly optimism. Yet over the course of the epidemic,
this optimism became tempered by a growing sense of desperation. It
was the combined effect of optimism and desperation by American
doctors and nurses that aided the citizens afflicted by the epidemic.