Ideas_facemask_1208581204-2WHEN YOU LOOK at photos of Americans during the 1918 influenza pandemic, one feature stands out above all else: masks. Fabric, usually white gauze, covers nearly every face. Across the country, public health experts recommended universal mask-wearing, and some cities ordered residents to wear them under penalty of fine or imprisonment. The Red Cross made thousands of cloth masks and distributed them for free. Newspapers published instructions for sewing masks at home. “Make any kind of a mask … and use it immediately and at all times,” the Boston commissioner of health pleaded. “Even a handkerchief held in place over the face is better than nothing.”…..more