Posted 14 February 2012 - 04:18 PM
I'm no authority by any stretch, but I thought the influenza storyline in this week's episode very weak historically. It is 1919, and a number of people in the household are stricken with the flu. Now, by this point, the influenza pandemic had been raging, with ebbs and flows, for many months if not a full year. While medical authorities did not necessarily totally understand the illness or how to effectively treat it, it had been long recognized that it was a contagion spread through contact between people. However, when it strikes Downton, they don't quarantine the house--workmen and other outsiders come and go as they decorate for a wedding, no one puts on a mask which, although ineffective against a virus, were still all the rage at the time, members of the household who have undoubtedly been exposed to the virus make their usual trips into the local village--all this and the physician on hand is the former head of the local army hospital who presumably would by this point have had experience or training with methods of combating an outbreak and preventing its spread.