In an attempt to halt the spread, cities and towns closed theaters and churches, and enacted a law requiring everyone to wear gauze masks when in public. But porous gauze could not stop the tiny microbe from escaping into the air.
The flu continued its deadly circle of the globe. By the time the disease beat a slow retreat in November 1918, at least 21 million people worldwide had died, 600,000 in the United States alone. In 10 months, more people had died in America from the flu than in combat in all the wars of this century.