Maryborough nurse and pneumonic plague victim, Cecilia Bauer and her brother Walte Bauer.
Maryborough nurse and pneumonic plague victim, Cecilia Bauer and her brother Walte Bauer. Queensland State Library

Paper's pandemic history, from Spanish flu to COVID

REPORTING on a pandemic is nothing new for the Chronicle.

In 1919, with troops just returned home from World War II, Australia was to face another deadly foe - the Spanish flu.

Throughout 1919 and 1920, warnings of influenza outbreaks ran in the paper.

An edition from February 1919 speaks of border control and quarantining returning soldiers - not so different to the issues the nation has faced with the coronavirus pandemic. It also reports a rising death toll in Victoria.

The paper also reported on a 1905 outbreak of pneumonic plague in Maryborough which claimed eight lives.

When the coronavirus pandemic struck in 2020, countless column inches in the Chronicle were devoted to reporting on the crisis, including the numbers in the region who became ill with COVID-19 and what people need to do to stay safe.

The Chronicle kept people up to date with the latest restrictions put in place to stop the spread of the illness, just as it did in 1919.

Almost a century ago, schools, churches and places of entertainment were closed to stop the spread of the flu, similar to measures taken against gatherings in 2020.

The paper also took a hard look at the crushing economic impact of the global health crisis, pushing for local solutions from polticians and business leaders.

We launched the #FCJobs campaign, taking a leading role in getting the region working again after devastating job losses and business closures came about as a result of the virus restrictions.

We backed state-wide tourism campaigns, encouraging Queenslanders to "holiday at home" and support struggling regional centres like ours.

The Hervey Bay Fever Clinic at the Fraser Coast Sports and Recreation Precinct opened on Tuesday, 14 April 2020. PHOTO: Contributed.
The Hervey Bay Fever Clinic at the Fraser Coast Sports and Recreation Precinct opened on Tuesday, 14 April 2020. PHOTO: Contributed.

With the latest data from Queensland Health reporting zero active COVID-19 cases in the Wide Bay, this brings the region's total number of recovered patients up to 25. Fever clinics opened up on the Fraser Coast and in Bundaberg to make sure anyone who needed testing knew where to go.

Throughout the crisis, the Chronicle did not rest in its mission to keep the community informed and help keep it safe.



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