Quarantined Ship — LATOBSD (Ch 11 pg. 234)

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Quarantined Ship

Troop Ship

Time to change the subject. “What do you think about some medical experts’ assertion that troop and transport ships are to blame for the outbreak of Spanish influenza?”

“What do I think? As far as I can see, we are damned if we
do or damned if we don’t. If we don’t have a million American
troops at Argonne, we are not going home right now.” He speaks

____234 Gwendolyn Hoff

about an enemy more invisible than the submarine. “I would avoid
interviewing the crew. Keep you distance if you do.”

“Good advice. I hear that it kills a person in one day; that’s pretty
scary.”

“We have twenty sailors in sick bay, as we speak. I’m told they
are bad off.” He takes off his cap, running his hands through his
graying hair. “And we are only a day out to sea.”

“It would be a good idea to confine everyone to their deck, to
keep mixing to a minimum,” Harv suggests.

“Did you hear that crewman?” he speaks to the helmsman. “Make
an announcement over the loudspeaker. Everyone is to be confined
to their deck and avoid physical contact with each other. We will
figure what to do about the mess hall later.

“Do you have an idea on how to handle the mess hall, to feed
200 men, scattered all over this boat?” All suggestions would be
welcomed.

“Are there any crewmen who have successfully recovered from
the influenza?”

“Two, I believe, but I don’t think they want to get sick again.”

“That is the idea. They can’t.” Rear Admiral Sims looks at Harv
like he has lost his mind. “No really, we did an article on disease
specialists and one of the things they were working on was figuring
out, why once a parson has contracted an illness that they seem to be
immune from getting sick from that same disease.”

“I see, so they can mingle with the crew!” He gets it. “You would make a great officer, Pearson.”

“I am a little too old to join the Navy.”

“That may be true, but I lost my First Officer to the sickness and I
am hereby appointing you second in command.”

“I’m not very fond of uniforms, no offence intended.”

“Since we are going to spend the next eight days on the bridge, I
am going to need your help, if you are wearing a uniform or not.”

 

Quarantined Ship

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