Memory Lane: Quarantine and health protocols are nothing new to Aramco
Vigilance in personal health and safety were as prevalent in 1946 as they are today at Aramco.
When one thinks of previously thinks of pandemics, thoughts generally revert to the 1918 Spanish influenza outbreak that claimed as many as 100 million lives worldwide.
However, Aramco, which has spent the past 18 months aggressively working to combat the spread of COVID-19 at company facilities and throughout the Kingdom, is no stranger to pandemics — even though the company did not come into being until the 1930s.
Shortly after World War II, as the company began to ramp up production and operations across the Kingdom and in the Eastern Province in particular, camp doctors in Dhahran were faced with the potential outbreak of polio, or infantile paralysis, as was common parlance at the time.
Isolated from access to other medical facilities, the company even went as far as obtaining an “Iron Lung” through the efforts of U.S. Army Personnel at the Dhahran Airport.
The following report can be found on Page 4 of June 16, 1946 edition of The Arabian Sun.
Our Present Quarantine …
Although Dr. Alexander believes the infantile paralysis case was in endemic form, or an isolated instance, he still advises that we keep strict adherence to our vigilance until word is given that time has elapsed for us to live as we did before June 10.
Our picture shows will continue to be something wished for as groups indoors are not advised. The schools will remain closed; the swimming pool empty.
Employees in Dhahran, Ras Tanura, and Abqaiq are requested to remain in their communities unless the business of their department requires them to go to another community.
Families will continue to keep their children from gathering in a group in their house; children may play together in the ordinary fashion out-of-doors, in small gatherings only.
Trips to Bahrein Island are still suspended.
Visiting hours at hospitals are suspended.
We hope the necessary precautions will not seem arduous.