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60 Smith Street
Qld 4163
07 3286 3494

Flu Epidemic SOS Window Panel

Object Number: R07621

This item has sobering relevance to the pandemic gripping the world 2020 and 2021, and reminds us of our medical history. It was produced by Queensland authorities in 1919 during the Spanish flu epidemic when households were being quarantined.  In large printing on one side of the card are the letters SOS, and on the other side FOOD. Also printed on the card are the instructions:

If you want any attention from the doctor, nurse or helper put this card on the window bar showing the SOS. If you want food only put the back of the card to the window. A depot has been established in this district for the purpose of rendering any assistance required. If you need assistance do not ring up if you can send a messenger. Communicate only with the officer in charge of the district. The streets will be patrolled each morning and afternoon to find out the homes in which assistance or medical attention is needed. Depot at Technical College Stanley and Dock Street, South Brisbane. Phone Central 6684.

Authorities fought the Spanish flu with measured that are familiar again, including state boarder closures, lockdowns, quarantine, face masks, sanitising, distancing, and the cancellation of large gatherings, such as the Brisbane Ekka show.  This item was donated to the collection by Kath McNeilly in 2001.