Lessons about border control

Lessons about border control
Image: National Park Service

Spanish Flu has been described as “the greatest medical holocaust in history” and killed more people than the black death.  It is also said that Spanish flu killed more people in 24 weeks than AIDS has killed in 24 years, that it has killed more in one year than the black death did in a century.


There was an island, run by a US Naval Commander who heard about what was going on in the rest of the world and that took drastic measures to completely blockade his own island and quarantined ships entering until the danger had passed.  That man was named Commander John Martin Poyer.

Poyer didn’t wait and see how things would play out.  He didn’t let people onto the island he was entrusted with after “hoping they were fine”, he simply quarantined all ships coming to his island until they were proven safe and did so until the Spanish Flu burned itself out.

And what were the results of Poyer’s actions?  Not a single death of Spanish Flu on the island of American Samoa.

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