Kate Sessions and George Marston Wearing Face Masks

Balboa Park San Diego

The Kate Sessions and George Marston statues in Balboa Park were wearing face masks this weekend. Some say the image of the outdoor statues wearing face masks is “a horrible perspective of our time. Open air environments will not facilitate spread of the germ.” Others say “Face masks should be worn outdoors when within six feet of others”. While even others say “Face coverings, worn indoors or outdoors, are useless”. So, wearing face coverings is still a debated topic among the general public. However, as of May 1st San Diego County provided mandated recommendations which can be found on the following website: https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/hhsa/programs/phs/community_epidemiology/dc/2019-nCoV/face-coverings.html.

Kate Sessions, an iconic botanist and horticulturist, is known as “The Mother of Balboa” for planting an abundance of trees in Balboa Park and throughout San Diego. More details of her life can be found on wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kate_Sessions.

George Marston, a department store owner, American politician and philanthropist, was recognized for establishing Balboa Park, Presido Park and the San Diego Public Library System. Details about George Marston can also be found on wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Marston

George Marston might have approved of wearing a face mask today due to an epidemic. According to the following San Diego Reader article about the Flu Pandemic of 1918, George Marston was for “backing The State Health Board” to enforce the closing of public spaces and wearing gauze masks in public. For more details visit the article “Unforgettable: Pandemic 1918: https://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2009/sep/23/unforgettable-pandemic-1918/

The 1918 Pandemic Influenza, caused by the H1N1 Virus, infected an estimated 500 million people. The flu contributed to an estimated 50 million deaths world-wide, with about 675,000 occurring in the United States. For more details about the 1918 Pandemic, visit the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/1918-pandemic-h1n1.html.

Hopefully, history does not repeat itself and the number Coronavirus deaths does not reach the 1918 Pandemic level of deaths. However, “The past teaches lessons for… future action” and “the same… sorts of events which have happened before… will recur…again” according to G.W. Trompf, The Idea of Historical Recurrence in Western Thought, p. 3.

Hope everyone is staying safe and healthy and taking care of themselves and each other. We’ll get through this and back to some sense of “normalcy” in time.

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