Almost 40 years ago I dealt with a mini-pandemic type of situation.
This may be unpleasant to hear, but I was a Navy Corpsman on a large ship full of Sailors and Marines. All had been at sea for a long time.
After the first port call in The Philippines I treated so many people for STD’s that I went to the Captain and requested something unusual — I wanted to treat anyone who was getting shore leave — before they became symptomatic.
There were benefits to this, besides just stopping the STDs in their tracks If it was a “prevention measure” instead of a “treatment” then nothing went into each individuals files — and believe me, nobody wanted an STD treatment in their permanent records. Especially the married men (and this was 1982 — they were all men).
I was denied, for a number of reasons. It would be expensive. It would penalize those who were not going out and getting STDs — and it would have to be reported as a major health incident onboard — which again, nobody wants on their record.
Weeks later, after enjoying a few days of liberty in Hong Kong, my sick bay was lined up by the dozens. Another STD breakout. Who would have thought it?
And sure — we offered training, and condoms — but to not much avail.
So for over three months we had a significant number of the crew fighting STDs and diminishing our combat effectiveness. Mostly because they would not put the “mask” over their little “faces” that dangled between their legs.
Still, I could not get permission to just “treat everybody”. But — here is what happened, and I think there is a lesson here.
Our next two ports of call — one in Guam, and one in Okinawa — the entire crew, and all of our Marines were confined to the ship. VERY unpopular, as you can imagine.
That, plus the thousand or so shots in the asses of these people finally stopped the spread of the STDs.
Because the last thing the Navy wanted was to sail back into San Diego with a ship full of people that would infect their families.
So they literally gave up some liberties for the greater good — albeit forced upon them. Because they couldn’t cover their little peckers with a “mask” to stop the spread of the disease.
WEAR A FUCKING MASK