« hispaania gripp soomes | Main | WHO: me teame linnugripist liiga vähe »

1918: tsitaadikogumik

lugemist AINULT tugevate närvidega isenditele,
kogumik cureventsi foorumist - noppeid mälestustest, artiklitest jne, kirjeldused et kuidas 1918a pandeemia oli ..

ära loe enne uinumist, saad õudusunenäod!

The flu began in March 1918 when a mess cook, Pvt. Albert Gitchell, complained of a sore throat and achiness as he reported to sick call at Camp Funston, a large cantonment constructed just months before and housing 60,000 soldiers.
"The next day there were 40 more of them," said Gaylynn S. Childs, director of the Geary County Historical Society Museum at Junction City. A week later, 522, cases had been reported at Fort Riley in what would be the mildest of the flu's three waves. Forty-six died at Fort Riley that spring.
Around the time the flu itself was dying out, the 89th Division--and the influenza--were deployed to France during World War 1, Childs said. And the American troops helped spread the disease to the English, Germans, French and Spanish. The flu gained its name because Spain was one of the hardest hit countries, with its king almost dying from it, she said.
From there, the flu went on through the Middle East and on around the world, eventually returning to the United States as the troops also came home for its second wave through Kansas.

Shortly before breakfast on Monday, March 11, the first domino would fall signaling the commencement of the first wave of the 1918 influenza. Company cook Albert Gitchell reported to the camp infirmary with complaints of a "bad cold." Right behind him came Corporal Lee W. Drake voicing similar complaints. By noon, camp surgeon Edward R. Schreiner had over 100 sick men on his hands, all apparently suffering from the same malady.

In October 1918, word of the flu’s growing presence in Minnesota began appearing on the front page of the Minneapolis Morning Tribune, below the news from the battlefields of Europe:
"Influenza Spread Held Slight Here" — Oct. 2
"Epidemic in City Shows Slight Gain" — Oct. 3
"Influenza Halts ‘U’ Opening …" — Oct. 5
"8 Deaths From Influenza Here" — Oct. 8
"Influenza Gains Slowly in City" — Oct. 10
"Doctors Propose Drastic Lid Be Clamped on City" — Oct. 11
By Oct. 12, hundreds of new cases and a dozen or so deaths were being reported in Minneapolis each day. The city’s health commissioner ordered all churches, schools, dance halls and theaters closed, beginning Sunday, Oct. 13. In the end, the flu killed more than 10,000 in Minnesota.
The influenza lid went on in Minneapolis at midnight last night. Not a single service will be held in any Minneapolis church today. The schools will not open tomorrow morning. Theaters, dance halls, pool halls and other meeting places closed at midnight to remain closed until the health department revokes its order, made as an emergency measure to stop the spread of Spanish influenza.

Nurse Jane MacDonald describes a trip through downtown Toronto during the peak of the pandemic:
"I went downtown today, in the afternoon, and I didn’t see a single soul. No cars, no bikes, no buses. Not a single store open. Y’ know, it was really... creepy."

Original account from the recollections of Alfred Hollows of Wellington, New Zealand:
"Our death rate was really quite appalling - something like a dozen a day – and the women volunteers just disappeared, and weren’t seen again ... I stood in the middle of Wellington City at 2 P.M. on a weekday afternoon, and there was not a soul to be seen – no trams running, no shops open, and the only traffic was a van with a white sheet tied to the side, with a big red cross painted on it, serving as an ambulance or hearse. It was really a City of the Dead."

A reporter in India describes the scene there:
"Hospitals are so choked, it is impossible to remove the dead to make room for the dying. Burning ghats and burial grounds are literally piled with corpses."
"Perhaps the greatest horror was occurring in India. All over India, immense mountains of bodies were rising beside fiery ghats. Oozing through the slums of Calcutta, the Hooghly River was 'choked with bodies.'
"Streets and lanes of India’s cities are littered with the dead. Hospitals are so choked, it is impossible to remove the dead to make room for the dying. Burning ghats and burial grounds are literally piled with corpses."

Nurse Jane MacDonald explains how a flu victim dies:
"In some patients, when their lungs are collapsing, they get bubbles of air trapped just below the surface of their skin, starting at their neck and sometimes spreading throughout the rest of their body. And when those patients move they crackle and pop like cereal in milk."
Those pockets of air leaking through ruptured lungs made patients crackle when they were rolled onto their sides. One navy nurse later compared the sound to a bowl of rice crispies, and the memory of that sound was so vivid to her that for the rest of her life she could not tolerate being around anyone who was eating rice crispies."
"If you haven’t been in there, you, you couldn’t imagine it. Pools of blood scattered throughout the rooms from several nasal hemorrhages. People, staff can’t avoid stepping in the mess ‘cause the people are packed in so closely together. Floors are slippery and wet and... Cries and groans from the terrified just add to the confusion. This is hell."

"The ship was packed ... (C)onditions were such that the influenza could breed and multiply with extraordinary swiftness ... The number of sick increased rapidly, Washington was apprised of the situation, but the call for men from the Allied armies was so great that we must go on at any cost ... Doctors and nurses were stricken. Every available doctor and nurse was utilized to the limit of endurance. The conditions during the night cannot be visualized by anyone who had not actually seen them ... (G)roans and cries of the terrified added to the confusion of the applicants clamoring for treatment and altogether a true inferno reigned supreme.
"It was the same on other ships. Pools of blood from hemorrhaging patients lay on the floor and the healthy tracked the blood through the ship, making decks wet and slippery.
Finally, with no room in sick bay, no room in the areas taken over for makeshift sick bays, corpsmen and nurses began laying men out on deck for days at a time. Robert Wallace aboard the Briton remembered lying on deck when a storm came, remembered the ship rolling, the ocean itself sweeping up the scuppers and over him and the others, drenching them, their clothes, their blankets, leaving them coughing and sputtering. And each morning orderlies carried bodies away."

We have lost an outrageous number of Nurses and Drs., and the little town of Ayer is a sight. It takes Special trains to carry away the dead. For several days there were no coffins and the bodies piled up something fierce, we used to go down to the morgue (which is just back of my ward) and look at the boys laid out in long rows. It beats any sight they ever had in France after a battle. An extra long barracks has been vacated for the use of the Morgue, and it would make any man sit up and take notice to walk down the long lines of dead soldiers all dressed and laid out in double rows.

The general store at Paradise Hill sat empty except for the dead bodies of the store-keeper and his wife. Inside a nearby tent there were three more victims. The eerie silence was only broken by the sounds of a young boy digging graves for his dead mother, father, brother and sister. Sadly, scenes like these were not uncommon in Saskatchewan at the end of the Great War. Between 1918 and 1920 more than 5,000 lives were lost in the province, not on any battlefield, but in their own homes, victims of a silent but deadly enemy.

It was the saddest lookin‘ time then that ever you saw in your life. My brother lived over there in the camps then and I was working over there and I was dropping cars onto the team pole. And that, that epidemic broke out and people went to dyin’ and there just four and five dyin‘ every night dyin’ right there in the camps, every night. And I began goin‘ over there, my brother and all his family took down with it, what’d they call it, the flu? Yeah, 1918 flu. And, uh, when I’d get over there I’d ride my horse and, and go over there in the evening and I’d stay with my brother about three hours and do what I could to help ’em. And every one of them was in the bed and sometimes Doctor Preston would come while I was there, he was the doctor. And he said "I’m a tryin‘ to save their lives but I’m afraid I’m not going to."And they were so bad off. And, and every, nearly every porch, every porch that I’d look at had—would have a casket box a sittin’ on it. And men a diggin‘ graves just as hard as they could and the mines had to shut down there wasn’t a nary a man, there wasn’t a, there wasn’t a mine arunnin’ a lump of coal or runnin' no work. Stayed that away for about six weeks.

The undertaker just ran, I don’t know how many, into their wagon and took them to the cemetery and that was it and had to dig your own grave. I mean, the families had to dig their own graves. Grave diggers were sick and that was the terrible thing.

They didn’t even bury the people. They found them stuck in garages and everything.

.....my mother went and shaved the men and laid them out, thinking that they were going to be buried, you know. They wouldn’t bury 'em. They had so many died that they keep putting them in garages. That garage on Richmond Street. Oh, my gosh, he had a couple of garages full of caskets.

Bodies! On Thompson and Allegheny, Schedpa. He used to get the people and take them out and pile them in the garage. And people smelled something and they notified him. There he’d take the people out of the coffin and put them in the garage and give the coffin to somebody else and got paid for it. He lost his license and all. The smell would knock you, it would run down through the alley, so they caught up with him. People used to die. Oh, they used to die. It was an awful disease.

We were the only family saved from the influenza. The rest of the neighbors all were sick. Now I remember so well, very well, directly across the street from us, a boy about 7, 8 years old died and they used to just pick you up and wrap you up in a sheet and put you in a patrol wagon. So the mother and father screaming. "Let me get a macaroni box." Before, macaroni, any kind of pasta used to come in these wooden boxes about this long and that high, that 20 lbs. of macaroni fitted in the box. "Please, please, let me put him in the macaroni box. Let me put him in the box. Don’t take him away like that." And that was it. My mother had given birth to my youngest sister at the time and then, thank God, you know, we survived. But they were taking people out left and right. And the undertaker would pile them up and put them in the patrol wagons and take them away.

I just had to lie there and look at the ceiling. You couldn't stand up and walk because your legs would go," says Robert. "I was lucky. I had it, but not as bad as some. It was a funny one - not funny but strange - it was the big strong people who were the worst off. They went the quickest. "One chap I worked with, there was seven in his family died of it," Robert says. "There was nothing you could do. You'd be talking to someone today and the next minute someone says, 'He died last night'. It wasn't very pleasant."

"You know the Waikumete cemetery? That's north of Auckland - about 14 miles. Well when you'd go to Auckland on the train, you'd see the hearses bumper to bumper, one behind the other.

"Then it got that bad they couldn't run the trains. Perhaps say engine drivers, they'd gone down with it, or perhaps (someone in) the signal box."

"I was told that at the end of the epidemic, every family in our street had someone go down with the flu. But for some reason - it may have been immunological reasons or something in our genes - not one member of the Hayton family went down with the flu.

"People fell dead in the streets; in many houses no one was left alive. All ordinary business came to a standstill; one just concentrated on keeping alive. Every person left untouched by the pestilence turned his hand to whatever task needed doing,"

At Fort Riley, Kansas, an Army private reports to the camp hospital just before breakfast on March 11 complaining of fever, sore throat, and headache. He was quickly followed by another soldier with similar complaints. By noon, the camp's hospital had dealt with over 100 ill soldiers. By week's end that number jumped to 500.

Dr. Victor Vaughn, acting Surgeon General of the Army, receives urgent orders to proceed to Camp Devens near Boston. Once there, what Vaughn sees changes his life forever: "I saw hundreds of young stalwart men in uniform coming into the wards of the hospital. Every bed was full, yet others crowded in. The faces wore a bluish cast; a cough brought up the blood-stained sputum. In the morning, the dead bodies are stacked about the morgue like cordwood." On the day that Vaughn arrived at Camp Devens, 63 men died from influenza.

Boston registers 202 deaths from influenza on October 2. Shortly thereafter, the city canceled its Liberty Bond parades and sporting events. Churches were closed and the stock market was put on half-days.

On October 6, Philadelphia posts what would be just the first of several gruesome records for the month: 289 influenza-related deaths in a single day.

851 New Yorkers die of influenza in a single day. In Philadelphia, the city's death rate for one single week is 700 times higher than normal.

October 1918 turns out to be the deadliest month in the nation's history as 195,000 Americans fall victim to influenza.

Sirens wail on November 21, signaling to San Franciscans that it is safe--and legal--to remove their protective face masks. At that point, 2,122 were dead due to influenza.
December, 5,000 new cases of influenza are reported in San Francisco.

The onset of illness for those battling the flu of 1918 was quite sudden. In a matter of mere hours, a person could go from strapping good health to being so enfeebled they could not walk. Victims complained of general weakness and severe aches in their muscles, backs, joints, and heads. Often enduring fevers that could reach 105 degrees, the sick fell prey to wild bouts of delirium. Innocent objects--pieces of furniture, wallpaper, lamps--would adopt wicked manifestations in the minds of those consumed by fever. When the fevers finally broke, many victims fortunate enough to have survived now endured crushing post-influenzal depression.

Citizens of rural outbacks especially found themselves relying on folk remedies to fend off or cure the flu. Tales abounded of mothers insisting that their children stuff salt up their noses and wear goose grease poultices or bags of garlic-scented gum around their necks. For some, onions were looked upon as a potential savior. A Pennsylvania woman boasted of serving up onion omelets, onion salads, and onion soup with every meal. Not one of her eight children contracted the flu. Meanwhile, a four-year-old girl from Portland, Oregon was said to have recovered fully from the flu after her mother dosed her with onion syrup and buried her from head-to-toe for three days in glistening raw onions. Those with an aversion to onions swore by a shoveful of hot coals sprinkled with sulfur or brown sugar, which enveloped every room in a noxious blue-green smoke. While evidence that any of these measures had any positive effect was anecdotal, they were in keeping with the belief that doing anything to fend off influenza was better than sitting idly by, waiting to become a statistic.

"During the 1918 pandemic Maori death rates were seven times higher than European," says Kathrine Clarke, Chief Executive of Hapai te Hauora Tapui said today.
"This is what we know, but it’s also likely that the rates were even higher because many Maori deaths were not recorded."

One anectode shared of 1918 was of four women playing bridge together late into the night. Overnight, three of the women died from influenza (Hoagg). Others told stories of people on their way to work suddenly developing the flu and dying within hours (Henig). One physician writes that patients with seemingly ordinary influenza would rapidly "develop the most viscous type of pneumonia that has ever been seen" and later when cyanosis appeared in the patients, "it is simply a struggle for air until they suffocate," (Grist, 1979). Another physician recalls that the influenza patients "died struggling to clear their airways of a blood-tinged froth that sometimes gushed from their nose and mouth," (Starr, 1976).

Kenneth Crotty was 11 years old when the "great flu" hit his neighborhood in Framingham, outside Boston.
"It was scary, because every morning when you got up, you asked, 'Who died during the night?' You know death was there all the time." Five neighbors on his street of about 20 houses died during the season of death, he recalled.

Violent hacking contorted bodies as victims struggled to breathe. With lungs filled to uselessness, oxygen disappeared and victims quickly turned blue, the "purple death." First the mahogany patches rose near the cheekbones and ears; then it spread across the face. People turned so dark near death, reported one army physician in the day’s vernacular, "it became hard to distinguish the coloured men from the white."

The news walloped Kansas City like a Jack Dempsey uppercut:

"A DRASTIC BAN IS ON," shouted the bold, black headline of The Kansas City Star, on Oct. 17, 1918.
Spanish influenza had been ravaging the city since late September. Hundreds in town were sick and dying of "the purple death." Over the next 27 weeks, the flu would kill an estimated 2,300 in the city, putting Kansas City in the ranks of the 10 most devastated cities in the nation.
"Effective at once, to remain in effect indefinitely" the newspaper related. Then came the list of closings:
All theaters and motion picture shows.
All schools.
All churches.
Public gatherings of 20 or more persons, including dances, parties, weddings, funerals.
But business interests and political ward bosses, worried about the loss of money, objected, as they would throughout the epidemic.
On Oct. 14, the day that an early ban was lifted, a disapproving Army medical officer from Camp Funston warned, "the responsibility for 400,000 lives" in Kansas City lies in the balance.
Assured that a ban could always be reinstated, Capt. A.A. Hobbs, responded, "A dead man cannot accept apologies."
With the ban lifted, flu cases erupted. Deaths increased.
Three days later, the "drastic" ban was on and held for a month.

"You’ve got the Red Cross reporting that people are starving to death, not because there is not enough food, but because people are too terrified to bring them food. It became every person for himself and herself, and society began to disintegrate."

By October’s end — with newspapers reporting deaths approaching 1,000 — stories declared the epidemic at a standstill.
Bans were eased. On Armistice Day, Nov. 11, 1918, more than 100,000 Kansas Citians — many likely sick — flooded the streets
In the euphoria over peace, stories about the flu all but disappeared until it erupted again.
On Dec. 4, the health department estimated an average of 107 cases and 17 deaths each day. Deaths: 1,089; Cases: nearly 7,000.
Federal health officials were called in to help. Soon, the front pages of The Star and The Times were running tables of daily cases and deaths.
Between Dec. 1 and Dec. 9, 2,854 new cases of flu would be reported. Of those, 231 people would die, 41 of them in a single day.

"Ben’s long thin body lay three-quarters covered by the bedding; its gaunt outline was bitterly twisted below the covers, in an attitude of struggle and torture. It seemed not to belong to him, it was somehow distorted and detached as if it belonged to a beheaded criminal. And the sallow yellow of his face had turned gray, out of this granite tint of death, lit by two red flags of fever, the still-black three-day beard was growing. ... Ben’s thin lips were lifted, in a constant grimace of torture and strangulation, above his white somehow dead-looking teeth, as inch by inch he gasped, a thread of air into his lungs.
The next day,
"By four o’clock it was apparent that death was near. ... Ben had brief periods of consciousness, unconsciousness, and delirium -- but most of the time he was delirious. His breathing was easier, he hummed snatches of popular songs, some old and forgotten, called up now from the lost and secret attic of his childhood.
Gradually Ben sank into unconsciousness.
"His eyes were almost closed; their gray flicker was dulled, coated with the sheen of insensibility and death. He lay quietly upon his back, very straight, without any sign of pain, and with a curiously upturned thrust of his sharp thin face. His mouth was firmly shut."
Through the night Wolfe kept vigil over his dying brother. He prayed, "Whoever You Are, be good to Ben to-night." Wolfe fell asleep for a while and then awoke suddenly and called his family into his brother’s room.
"[Ben’s] body appeared to grow rigid before them. Ben drew upon the air in a long and powerful respiration; his gray eyes opened. Filled with a terrible vision of all life in the one moment, he seemed to rise forward bodily from his pillows without support—a flame, a light, a glory...[Ben] passed instantly, scornful and unafraid, as he had lived, into the shades of death."

"When the Spanish Influenza epidemic invaded Rochester in the fall of 1918, the community was paralyzed. Military demands of World War I have steadily drained the area of trained nurses...the epidemic prostrated nearly 13,000 Rochesterians, at its peak killing thirty to forty victims a day...as many as 800 a day collapsed with chills and fever...they were parents and teachers on whom Rochester’s children depended and the workforce on whom Rochester’s businesses and factories relied....In mid October, when 400 to 600 new cases appeared each day, the city closed down; schools, stores, factories, theaters, taverns and even churches were ordered to suspend all activities. In one home the father and mother were both powerless to do anything because of the force with which influenza had seized them. Their two little children, 5 and 7 years old, could not be cared for. Although there was plenty of coal in the house there was no one to build a fire.

"The 1918 Flu Pandemic was the deadliest disease outbreak in New Zealand history, killing over 8000 people in just four months - almost half as many New Zealanders as had died in the four terrible years of the First World War," said Neill Atkinson, historian at the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

He took me in his arms and carried me to see my dead sister before she was carried to the grave. He took me for a last visit to my mother for he thought that both of us would die. But we didn't. We gasped for breath, our chests and throats rattled with the passage of the hard-won air. We sweated and we shivered, we fainted and revived. Death waited for us but we survived.

Everyone was sick, no one to help, they were dying one after the other. My father was very, very sick then. He was the first to die. I couldn't do anything for him. I remember we put him in a coffin, like a box. There were many others, you could see them on the roads, on the sledges, the ones that are able to drag them away, dragged them away to the cemetery.

At all times it seems, day and night, ambulances were on the move everywhere. They must have been manned in relays. In those days there was no free ambulance, the hospitals carried their own. These vehicles had tinkling bells instead of sirens.

At night time was, I think, the most saddest of all because the trucks were rumbling past my place all night long. We found out after that they didn't have time to make coffins they were just buried in boxes and the sad part was when we went over to cemetery later, when it was all over, no one knew where they were putting the flowers, they just put them on a mound of ground and trusted the luck of it being one of their own.

Most of them got over it but if you bled at the nose - if they bled at the nose - they got over it. If they didn't they went black and that was a finish.

And the thing was they came in with terrific temperatures and if we couldn't get those temperatures down, they dropped suddenly - below subnormal - and they started delirium. And once they got very delirious, we just couldn't save them and there was no way of bringing the temperatures down then except by cold sponging. And that had to be done by somebody with experience you see, otherwise they'd get an awful shock if it's badly done and chills as well. So I'm trying to keep the patients moderately clean and then when they got really delirious keeping them in bed. And the noise of the delirium at night was terrific.

And he went raving mad one night before they took him away. He was running around the room with a knife… he just couldn't control himself. So they came and took him away to the hospital. Next morning they came over and told me poor old Jack had died, so that was one of my mates who went.

One particular night there was a chap - I won't mention any names - but he jumped out of bed and I grabbed him and I said 'where are you going?' He was a big fella and of course I'm not very big, but I got me arms around just big around him and said 'come on, come on back to bed'. 'Let me go, let me go' he said, 'let me go' he said, 'I must get down and meet Massey and Ward'. Massey and Ward at that time were coming back from an Imperial conference at home [Britain] you see, and anyway I said 'come on get back into bed'. Yes, I got him back - I just got him on to bed and he said 'oh God' he said, and he was dead as a doornail, just went dead.

Ah no, the children were very good; we had to keep them, they were not allowed out the gate. They had to play in their own back yards. So no the children seemed to realize too how dreadful the time was and the unfortunate part was when anyone having a baby, the mothers were lost, the babies seemed to survive. But there was a dreadful lot of babies were left without their mothers. And I think that was one of the saddest parts.

At the school, when we're in the class, and that some of my friends whose parents had passed away would all of a sudden start their crying and the teacher would have to console them later.

I remember that the schools were closed and we rather enjoyed the holiday, the extended holiday for the tragedies that were happening everyday. It didn't touch me, I was far too young to realize.

Mother would come home and she would boil up and make the most beautiful vegetable and meat soups and then I would take them in thermos flasks to people who were too ill to perhaps warm their own food. And I wasn't allowed to enter the house, I just placed it on the door step and then went back to my pony and where people were a little better I could carry it in a billy in a jelly form and people were able to get food in that manner. But most of these people were almost unable to more than come to the door and just pick up the container that was left for them.

It wasn't safe for men to go out on the farms alone in case they were struck down and no one knew where they were. So one of the children or someone, they generally went in twos. When we wanted to do our shopping we had to go into Waverly by a horse and gig and when we got into the grocer's shop we rattled a kerosene tin which was hanging from a beam of the verandah. They came out to their door, took our order and then put the things on the pavement and we collected them and put our money into a mug with disinfectant in it and they collected it out of the mug.

It just got so that if you wanted help - if you didn't feel so well - you opened your window and you put a white rag out the window and you unlocked you front door and left a white rag on the handle of the door you see so that anybody could come in and when these people who were going around on motorbikes in cars saw them you see they got out to investigate because it was beyond, you couldn't deal with it. You just couldn't deal with it at all. It was beyond anything.

I lived in Wellington at the time and was working in a chemist shop. People started to pour in with prescriptions of all descriptions and people were collapsing on the road and being picked up and taken to hospital until the hospitals were full and then it began that we could hardly deal with them for the simple reason they came in so thick and fast. I gave prescriptions. I was working in the shop and the chemist was working flat out and the doctors finally put the prescription in the paper and so they copied it out and copied this and gave it in bulk form.

A mail boat delivered mail and supplies to small ports in Labrador. People soon got sick and many died. In many cases, survivors were unable to cut firewood or hunt, and died from the cold or starvation. Some hunters disappeared in the bush and were never heard of again. In the village of Okak, only fifty-seven of 266 survived. The mother and father of one eight-year-old girl died and the hungry dogs ate their bodies, but she survived in minus 30-degree temperatures for five weeks. In November 1918 a plea for help went out to the Hudson's Bay Company went out, but they curtly replied that there was a shortage of fuel for their ship, and that they could not come. In the spring of 1919 they finally came with a doctor and a load of lumber to make coffins. By then, one third of the Labrador population had died.

Edna Cary, 100, remembers vividly when the Spanish flu pandemic swept through her town. "People were dying like flies, whole families were wiped out," said Cary, who now lives in Denver. "It was really terrible." Cary, who entered high school that fall of 1918, recalls that "everything was shut. All the churches, all the movie houses, the theaters. Some stores were open, but everybody was so sick, I don't see how you could get to a store anyhow."
That long ago summer in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., the flu swept through her house as well. "Oh, it took everything out of you," Cary said. "It was two weeks before you could hardly stand on your legs. "My mother, my aunt and myself all had the flu. "My sister didn't get it because she was at Vassar and they quarantined the campus.
"But if you got it, you just ached in every part of your body. You could hardly get up to crawl to the bathroom and get back to bed." When she finally thought she was getting her strength back, Cary tried to walk from one end of her front porch to the other, but had to stop from exhaustion. "As far as taking care of the dead, I don't know how they did that," said Cary. "People were dying so fast. The few funeral homes in town couldn't possibly take all of them."

When Blanche Kennedy, of Denver, died of the flu on Sept. 27, 1918, the city's manager of health vainly hoped he could keep it an isolated case by quarantining her friends and family, according to Metropolitan State College of Denver history professor Stephen Leonard, co-author of Denver: Mining Camp to Metropolis. But when 10 more Denver residents died eight days later, the order was sent out: Close all the schools, churches and theaters.
"But they didn't close the department stores - that shows where their priorities were," Leonard said last week. Store owners pressured the health department and kept their doors open.
"And they let people go on streetcars, which were a wonderfully contagious place," Leonard said.
Denver banned indoor meetings, but not outdoor meetings, such as war bond drives. "That meant that they were just colder and got the flu a little faster," Leonard said.

Katherine Anne Porter was a reporter at the Rocky Mountain News in 1918. In her book, Pale Horse, Pale Rider, she described Denver's reaction to the flu: "It's as bad as anything can be . . . all the theaters and nearly all the shops and restaurants are closed, and the streets have been full of funerals all day and ambulances all night."
All told, Colorado lost about 8,000 people in the 1918-19 outbreak.
The flu rampaged west and hit the small town of Blaine, Wash., shortly before Christmas, recalls Flossie Shamness, now a 100-year-old resident of the Meridian community in Lakewood.
"My dad got the flu and he went to the hospital," said Shamness, a retired math teacher. "My mother would leave us four children with the neighbors and go to the hospital to see him. We felt neglected.
"He was only there a week and then he died. I was very close to him. He was only 36.

By fall 1918, Kansas and Fort Riley were heading into their deadliest confrontation with the flu. "The soldiers were going so fast," Foveaux recalled. "They were piling them up in a warehouse until they could get coffins for them." The dying continued at such a pace that morticians couldn't keep up. There were piles of wooden coffins, and the bodies were eventually wrapped and put outside, where they froze and were stacked "like cord wood," Childs said.
"Fall crops were ready to be harvested, but there were no field hands to get the crops in," Childs said. "It was an agricultural disaster." The medical community struggled to keep up with those infected. "The doctors and nurses in most communities were very thinly stretched," Childs said. She said two or three of the area's doctors were serving overseas, so those left in the area were forced to handle the workload. She tells of an Alta Vista country doctor who traveled for six weeks caring for the sick, without returning home during that time.

The life of Armond Cohen, Park Synagogue’s distinguished service rabbi, was dramatically influenced by the 1918 flu epidemic. His 34-year-old mother and 35-year old father died within two days of each other at the family’s home in Canton. "I was nine years old at the time, the youngest of four children," recalls Cohen. "My mother was eight months pregnant at the time. Cohen’s older brother Ernest, then 15, woke all the children. He put his arms around them as he told them the sad news that they were orphans.
"I began to cry," recalls Cohen. "I asked my brother, ‘Who is going to take care of us?’ My brother looked directly upwards and pointed to the heavens. ‘He will,’ he said. And He did."

About a year before she died, my mother said that she wanted me to have a glass water pitcher decoratively covered in silver.
It also came with a story more precious that the pitcher itself.
My mother had an older sister, Fanny, who miraculously survived the (1911) Triangle Shirtwaist Co. fire (but that’s another story), and a few years later Fanny met a fine young man to whom she became engaged.
My grandmother decided to make Fanny a beautiful engagement party to which all the neighbors were invited.
At that time, a young man in the neighborhood wanted to date my mom (she wasn’t interested), and he asked if he could come to the party.
Not wanting to be rude, my mother said yes, of course. Everyone was invited. The young man arrived at the party with a glass-and-silver pitcher, engraved with Fanny’s initials, as a gift for the delighted bride-to-be.
Fanny got married, became pregnant, and contracted the flu. Unfortunately, the year was 1918, and, as my mother put it, in 1918, if you were pregnant and caught the flu, you didn’t stand a chance.
Poor Fanny succumbed to the flu, and her bridegroom became hysterical. He brought all of Fanny’s things to my grandmother and asked that she take care of them because he could not manage.
My grandmother did the best she could. When she came across the pitcher, she turned to my mom and said, "This pitcher really should go to you. Fanny received it only because that young man wanted to impress you. Keep it in Fanny’s memory."
That’s how my mother obtained the pitcher. Through countless years she cherished it as a reminder of a beloved sister tragically cut down during the happiest time of her life by the 1918 flu epidemic.
Sixty years later, when my mother handed it to me, I could still feel Fanny’s loss reflected in the pitcher’s silver trim.


Without doubt, one of the best post l have come across on this deserving subject. I quite concur with your assumptions and will eagerly look forward to your future updates.

Post a comment

trüki see kood alumisse tühja lahtrisse. aitäh :)