During the Spanish flu people were looking for remedies to ward off the virus.
As now, people were wearing face masks, taking elixirs and looking for "miracle" cures.
Leading British psychiatrist at the time, Sir James Crighton-Browne's addess to the annual meeting of the Bovril company was critical of the idea of face masks and pointed to the risk of a third wave. As you would expect from a company address, there were repeated plugs for the drink as being a great restorative
A hundred years later the message about keeping healthy to ward off the the flu is still relevant.
As is the fear of multiple "waves" of COVID-19.
And many people have taken to wearing masks (what would Sir James say now, do you think), especially as the Victoria's COVID-19 "public health bushfire" continues.
Horsham Times, June 3 P2 1919
STRIKING STATEMENT BY SIR JAMES CRICHTON-BROWNE, M.D., F.R.S.
Speaking at the annual meeting of the Bovril Company , Sir James Crichton-Browne, M.D., F.R.S., said:
"We have, I see, been recommended as a guard against influenza, to go about wearing masks like the actors in the Greek tragedies.
Now I have no wish to discourage the use of masks by those who have faith in them, although I am not quite sure that their sudden general adoption might not lead to that state of panic which is always conducive to the spread of epidemic disease, but I would point out that the most recent researches go to show that the influenza organism and toxin pass readily through a porcelain filter, and if that be so any mask that could be worn would he no more efficacious than would be the erection of a barbed wire fence to shut out the flies.
"The best precautionary) measure is the maintenance of good bodily health.
" It is, I think, a matter of deep regret that during the recent visitation of influenza there 'should have been, through the shortage of bottles a dearth of Bovril. But the visitation is not yet over.
The third wave
"Its past history suggests that influenza epidemics come in three great waves.
"Two of these waves have swept over us with dire results and the third wave seems now to be gathering force and advancing with its death-dealing concomitants, pneumonia, meningitis and heart failure.
"It is to be hoped that during the third wave more copious supplies of Bovril may become available.
"I regard it as a great protection against influenza.
"We have scriptural authority for believing that if you resist the devil he will flee from you, and that is true of the fiend - influenza. We must strengthen our resistance against his attacks.
"We have as yet no specific remedy, and it is better to keep him at arm's length than to wrestle with him after he has got a grip of us and has invaded our system.
"Well. Bovril will assist us to do that. Its supplies readily assimilable nourishment, invigorates, fortifies and supports, especially during exposure and exhaustion, and so heightens our power of resistance to the disease.
A GREAT RECONSTRUCTOR.
We have the testimony of all our leading generals that Bovril has proved an inestimable boon and comfort to our men in the trenches, in the field, and on the march, and notable as were its services during the war. they are certain to be no less signal now that peace is declared.
Bovril is a great reconstructor, and will help to steady, recuperate, and build up again those whose nerves, in the words of the Prime Minister, " have been rattled" during the war.