St. Catharine’s College and the University of Cambridge joined forces last month and created a list of 297 ideas to flatten the curve.
It’s a massive undertaking and many of the ideas make a lot of sense — such as removing park benches and door handles. Other ideas might be viewed as controversial — such as encouraging employees to bring in their own lunch and eat at their desks instead of going out. But when you stop and think about it, there really isn’t controversy if everyone has a shared goal.
One of the ideas is to discourage kissing.
Europe is familiar with kissing bans. In 1439, King Henry VI of England banned kissing to fight the Black Death. And in 1562 while fighting another wave of that epidemic, the Italian city of Naples banned it.
Closer to home, kissing was banned in Alabama during the 1918 flu pandemic. That virus was responsible for 500 million global infections and about 20 million deaths.
Throughout the United States in 1918-1919, schools and churches were closed. Retail stores had staggered operating times. Most businesses were shut down. Mail delivery and garbage collection were delayed. Funerals were banned. Social distancing was enforced. People were fined if they walked outside without masks.