Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 7

The past has a voice.


Having received the list of influenza symptoms from the US Surgeon General, more newspaper editors approve the publishing of articles about the illness. The Philadephia Evening Bulletin reports: “Spanish Influenza Here” while smaller-town publications like the Daily Star in Marion, Ohio describe how illness has appeared in various East Coast cities. A specific word-pattern begins to show up in newspapers, such as “quarantine” and “pneumonia.” 600 soldiers in Philadelphia have suddenly fallen ill from influenza.

A thought for you on Day 7, March 19, 2020, seven days after President Trump declares Covid-19 a national emergency—for each number there’s a name, for each name there’s a face, and for each face there’s a person struggling to make sense of a drastic change in life with no warning, no preparation, and frighteningly, no understanding. A vast empty space has opened up. The worst feeling is to stare into the emptiness and wonder if you are alone.

(note to reader—my pacing on posts will vary. Sometimes I’ll do every day, sometimes not. If you wish to contact me privately, please do not hesitate to text or call 317-407-3687)


  1. I paused at your comments about the numbers, each with a face and a name. I’ve thought about that as people early on, simply cited low numbers and how that didn’t effect them. Well…it sure effected that guy/gal that was the number! And it most definitely effected those around them!

  2. Eileen Hightower says

    This feeling of staring into emptiness and wondering if you are alone is akin to a spouse losing a spouse, especially if you are not expecting the death, but many have felt this same way too in regard to the virus. It takes refocusing, which can be hard to do, but if you will refocus and look around you and the beauty of the world, your daughters and wife, plenty of food and a comfortable home, you will find you have much to be grateful for. And even if you didn’t have those things, you still have your life and your family. I believe that is what most people have found during this home bound quarantine. In the business of life, we lose focus on the important things. I remember one time reading an article and it asked the question: “What would you do if while at work a major tragedy happened?” Those answers were quite interesting. Nearly all answers had to do with family and loved ones. They didn’t mention checking their portfolios, bank accounts or any possessions. Their foremost answer was that their family was alright and they wanted to get back to them. Home. One of the nicest words in the world. Home.

    “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

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