By spring of 1868 Small Pox was already spreading in San Francisco at a rapid rate. Thousands were dying. It was only a matter of time until it hit Vancouver Island. Then, on March 18, the inevitable happened, a man was diagnosed in Victoria with Small Pox, then again on the 26th another diagnose...
Both men, miners had arrived on schooners from San Francisco. They were the first reported cases here on the Island. Panic broke out. The Native Indians who lived in communal houses were hit the hardest by living in ideal breeding conditions for the Small Pox virus.
The government dealt with Small Pox in three ways.
1. Vaccination or inoculation
2. Isolation and quarantine
3. Expulsion and no help what so ever.
All three were used to varying degrees. The disease affected the Native population more than any other group. No other disease, other than AIDS had struck so much fear into the public than the Small Pox Epidemic of 1868.
|Small Pox struck fear into the public.|
Medical, government and religious groups even the media all reacted differently to the disease and had their own part to play as the dreaded disease took hold. The Native Indians, that were living on Vancouver Island at the time, didn't fair so well. This new 'White Man's Disease' wiped out total communities.
Native Indians were given #03 as an option in most of their cases, as if their lives had no value compared to a white man.
Another smudge in British Columbia's history, which the BC government had tried to keep secret for decades after.
The day the 'Small Pox came to Vancouver Island, the Native Indian didn't fair so well. To the white man, let all the Indians die and then they can take their land.
That's how the white man took control of the Island. Genocide by Small Pox on a massive scale.
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