the zombie squirrel
shameless self-promotion, 362 in a series

qotd, the epidemic we forget about

"Crosby calls the 1918 flu "America's forgotten pandemic," noting: "The important and almost incomprehensible fact about the SPanish flu is that it killed millions upon millions of people in a year or less. Nothing else -- no infection, no war, no famine -- has ever killed so many in so short a period. And yet it has never inspired awe, not in 1918 and not since, not among the citizens of any particular land and not among the citizens of the United States."

-- from Flu by Gina Kolata. 

(Oddly, I was researching the Spanish Flu (long story) before it became a Downton Abbey plot point. And speaking of, I jump up and down with delight!)


I read The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Great Plague in History by John M. Barry a few years ago. It still haunts me.

My grandparents served as medical staff during the epidemic (my grandfather a doctor, grandmother a nurse ... if I remember the story correctly, my grandfather was still in med school and pressed into service), and didn't like to talk about it. My mother said the only thing she remembers Manna ever saying was that the hospital didn't have enough beds for the sick.

Have you read Barry's "The Great Influenza"?

Since seeing a documentary about the flu epidemic of 1917, I'm very mindful about it - especially when visiting cemetaries.

I haven't read Barry's book - but it seems like I should.

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