Wave Two–From 2020 To 1918: October 26

POTUS Now And Today, October 26, 2020 You want to know something that is nearly impossible? Separating politics and the pandemic on this day. The truth is that we'll get a cure, a vaccine, a 3-D digitized image of the virus and every treatment known to humankind, a winning lottery ticket with free steak knives thrown in before we'll ever figure out how to pull apart the election … [Read more...]

Wave Two–From 2020 To 1918: October 20

Now And Today, October 20, 2020 Promised Land. Promised Time. Outside the gate the fog is gone and the fields are clear. Time for you to run through. Away from rules and strictures, from fences. The air freshens, the light brightens, and the sounds ring just a little bit truer. How great it is. You've gone somewhere or you are somewhere and the pandemic didn't follow in full. Vacation, a … [Read more...]

Wave Two: From 2020 To 1918: Tending Haystacks

With thanks to Claude Monet The date of September 28, 1918 has been rolling around in my mind for the past several hours. I think a follow-up to yesterday's entry is in order (that entry is here http://historicalsolutions.com/1918-pandemic/wave-two-from-2020-to-1918-september-28/). That this follow-up is so untypical in my Wave Two series ought to give a you a glimpse into my thinking about its … [Read more...]

Wave Two–From 2020 To 1918: September 24

Rules and rules-doers Now And Today, September 24, 2020 The rules last until they don't. The rules apply until they can't. The rules matter until life overrides or circumvents them. The next stage after that is a mess with nothing to hold it together—it's just simply next as a state of time. Not all spaces are created equal. The space to be together and learn is not equal to any random … [Read more...]

Wave Two–From 2020 To 1918: September 22

From July 1918, a few weeks before Dr. Welch arrives, and departs Now And Today, September 22, 2020 The pandemic has pervaded and invaded at the same time. It's in bodies, in places, in customs and habits. It's changed so much of what we typically know to do and how to be. Strangely, the same could be said of the upcoming election. By themselves the pandemic and election are hard enough to … [Read more...]

Wave Two–From 2020 To 1918: September 21

Now And Today, September 21, 2020 A thread woven into threads. A fiber woven into fibers. A strand woven into strands. So many strands and fibers and threads that you can't tell one from another or this thousand from that thousand. They're a tangled mess. Your time and energy are nearly impossible to allocate into a tangled mess. You know you're expected to do something, yet you have no way … [Read more...]

Wave Two–From 2020 To 1918: September 18

The doctor with a pen Now And Today, September 18, 2020 The following conversation is occurring all across the United States. Employer to employee. Friend to friend. Family to family. Person to person. Door knock. Or cell ring. Or message ping. Or Zoom call. Can we talk? Sure. My (child, other) is having real problems with (school, college, whatever). Can't concentrate. Isn't … [Read more...]

Wave Two–From 2020 To 1918: September 17

Near the site of The New Era, Lancaster PA Now And Today, September 17, 2020 It just goes and goes and goes. Our pandemic. Where's the edge? I can't see it. Where's the end? I don't know. Where's the clarity? Good luck finding it. So you continue, the slog continues. You do your day the best you can. More masking, spacing, and limited face-to-facing. If you have anyone in any form of … [Read more...]

Wave Two–From 2020 To 1918: September 8

W.E.B. Du Bois Now and Today, September 8, 2020 The numbers of coronavirus are sobering but not awful. They're far more than we'd ever want but slowly going downward, the absolute right direction. Those of us with anyone of a school age—from pre-school to graduate school—can describe the disruptions to daily life and near-term future of a pandemic in Wave Two. That's a feeling and a fact of … [Read more...]

Wave Two–From 2020 To 1918: September 7

Camp Devens Now and Today, September 7, 2020. It's our holiday, Labor Day. In a normal year we take time off from work and school, at least most of us. We say goodbye to Summer and hello to Fall. It feels like the trip to the lake or the beach is the last of the season, even when it's not. And in the usual cycle of every fourth year, the political among us know that the presidential campaign … [Read more...]

The Tough October Of 2020

October 2020 will be a bad month. It may be the toughest yet of our pandemic. I say that not because of numbers of cases or counts of the dead. I say that because of our social body, our body politic, and our civic condition. October will be traumatic. Permit me to lay out my reasoning. My approach is different, unconventional. It's not everyone's first way of looking at things. I understand … [Read more...]

Working Paper: Already In Your Home–Wave Two And K-16 Schools

For millions of Americans, Wave Two of the coronavirus pandemic is already here. It's in their homes. I'm referring to education, kindergarten through college-age, and the reality of students Zooming to their craft tables, classrooms, and lecture halls. Wave Two is already here for them and the adults who are part of their lives. Millions and millions of them. Wave Two is now and Zoom is the … [Read more...]

Side-By-Side: Putting The Past Of Wave Two To Work

If you haven't read my post on Wave Two, 2020 and 1918, you'll find it here: http://historicalsolutions.com/1918-pandemic/wave-two-in-2020-a-thought-from-1918/?fbclid=IwAR0kTC3pG_X45WS-T9PS7sXpOZUBJpw0LRrOm7QsK_8mTkLLqk-f1tvJ9NA. I'm emphasizing it because of a point I made near the end of the 4-minute essay. My statement was that Wave Two 2020 will appear in a variety of ways. It was true in … [Read more...]

Wave Two In 2020: A Thought From 1918

We're waiting in 2020 to see if coronavirus has more than one wave. Most major viruses and pandemics in the past have more than one wave, so it's reasonable to expect the same will be true again, will be true for us. But how will Wave Two differ from Wave One? This is where a creative look at the pandemic of 1918-1920 offers part of an answer. I'd like to walk you through my concept of … [Read more...]

The Glass Between Words

Two statements. Heard across time. Staring across time. A glass in between. "..repeatedly try to undermine & create public distrust in Dr. Birx." That's the statement from Alyssa Farah, the Director of Strategic Communications for POTUS 45. She's responding to remarks made by Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi criticizing Dr. Deborah Birx, a key member of POTUS 45's … [Read more...]

Time In A Bucket And Time In A Bottle

The amount of time we have for our big project, our big switch, our big change. We thought it was a bunch of time between now and then. Enough to fill the big green bucket. A large amount of time. Oodles. Turns out we were wrong. Life got a vote, life made the choice for us, and life said it's not a big bucket but a tiny bottle instead. We have no where near the time we assumed for planning, … [Read more...]

The Lost Holidays Of 1918 And 2020

Erased, wiped out, altered to a great extent. Our tradition and celebration of two holidays have been deeply affected by the pandemic. It's a shame. These words describe the influenza pandemic of 1918 and the coronavirus pandemic of 2020. Let's take a closer look at the two pairs of days that usually help track our year. The holidays 1918: Halloween and Thanksgiving 2020: Memorial Day … [Read more...]

Today In 1918: Working Paper, Month Three Of The Influenza Pandemic

THE THIRD MONTH – TODAY IN 1918 Week 9 (Days 59-67, Nov 5-13, 1918) In Philadelphia, celebrating war's end As of the first week in November, influenza barely, ever so barely, inches below its awful highest point of death and destruction in October. Then, it—or rather, they—happened. The happenings were public events, the occasion when people pushed beyond the rules and regulations made to … [Read more...]

Learning From the 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 90

By early December 1918, more than 360,000 Americans have died since early September. That's more than 100,000 every month, every thirty days, as of December 4, 1918, the 90th day since influenza broke out of Fort Devens, Massachusetts. Thankfully, as of now on the 90th day, though the sickness has not completely stopped, it has certainly declined. The lowering scale of death is … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 85

Hero When does a hero know? The thing they've done that made them a hero, well, maybe they know that. Especially after the fact. But when does a hero know that he or she is in trouble and life has taken a turn in a bad direction? Do they know that today is different, that today I have to pay attention to myself and not to others, that today, maybe, the future comes calling. A door is … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 83

An American woman, Thanksgiving Eve Get yourself behind me, influenza. Americans are united in wanting the rest of their lives. We have things to do, issues and decisions and actions that are vital in the here and now. Some we've known about, others are a surprise or a shock, regardless, we want to do them. Do them now and not do influenza anymore. We know how bad it's been, but it's time to … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 77

San Francisco family, before and after the siren A siren has a sound all its own. It fills, pierces, and overwhelms all at once. The sound enters your ears and holds in place beside your brain. Open your mouth and it will enter there, too. Your nose is next. Hear it? A siren cannot be escaped until the sound starts its steady winding-down. Less. Fading. Stopped. Silent. Now … [Read more...]

Learning From the 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 76

Brevig Village, Alaska, modern view of the grave site November 20, 1918. The 76th day of the worst wave of influenza. "Damn this ground is hard." The men with pick-axes, shovels, and explosives must have said it a lot. A dozen times. That's the reaction when you're trying to dig into the frozen earth. Six feet down into ice and dirt. Maybe a hundred times is more like. A slice of ground … [Read more...]

The Graduation Of A Lifetime

My Saturday last is a lesson for all of us. The small moments of May 23rd have a larger meaning in the midst of Covid-19. I've got a feeling about the truth of this. I invite you to stay with me for a few minutes. I began the day with some dread, to be honest. High school graduation. My fear was that the Covid-revised ceremony would encapsulate our overall feeling of a sad end to our oldest … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 70

St. Paul, Minnesota, 1918 Making a hash of things. An old phrase, it means you take something and cut it into smaller bits. A thing once together is now jumbled and unorganized. Influenza has made all of life an unending hash. The question is left—how do you unhash a hash? November 15, 1918, Day 70 after influenza broke loose from Fort Devens in Massachusetts. It's a make-it-hash … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 68

Downtown Tucson They all seem plausible. They all seem understandable. But they all seem straining toward different directions. A shared point, a common bond, is absent and without it, it's hard to know where to go except farther down a single lane of reality, of life. The junction is empty and open and not yet joined. Five paths pull against the center. Day 68, November 14, 1918. One. … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 67

The Mississippi River, Grand Rapids, Minnesota In the far north, along a ribbon called the Mississippi River, eagles perch on the branches of the gray pine trees. At their choosing, they'll launch and fly downward at a long angle, eyes fixed and legs tucked. Gliding and gaining speed, they cruise at top speed parallel to the water. At coordinates measured in quarter-inches, they slowly drop a … [Read more...]

The Bottom Of The River

The River, bottom and top This morning, over coffee, a sort of sun beam broke through the clouds. My wife had just read the Day 59 installment of my "Today In 1918" series. We talked about the story. In listening to her, I had a bit of an epiphany, as I mentioned, a sort of sun beam. The clouds, which if you've been around me you already know, symbolize my usual state of mind. The … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 61

So who do you believe? The media or a group of students? A fair question but when you dig a little, you find it's not completely fair, you find a deeper understanding. Day 61, November 7, 1918. Here is what happens. Newspaper around the US publish in blazing, black, and thick-block print the following headline on the front page: THE WAR IS OVER! Uh. Nope. Turns out it was a false … [Read more...]

Working Paper: The Second Month, Weeks 5-8, Today In 1918

lung samples, 1918 Week 5 (Days 29-36, Oct 6-13, 1918) From bad to worse. There is always a worse, and there is always a worst. The worse you feel in real time, in the present, and the worst is best known in hindsight, looking back. No matter, the worse and worst is the stage with the most extreme point of trouble, problems, and difficulties. The bad comes with the worse. For 1918's … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 59

Later in life, little Charlie Long A river has a surface. That is its highest level. A river also has a bottom. The surface water runs along it, above it, over it. The water at the top and the water at the bottom are almost two different worlds. One man rides the river's surface. In the darkness below two families struggle along the river's bottom. This is a Day 59 like no other. The 59th … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 57

Dr. Roy Flannagan, shown right An eight-year old girl with dark, round eyes thought she heard some good news. Finally. Her parents seem excited. They are very political, active and full of opinions. That's OK in peacetime but here...sometimes politics can kill you. The young girl stares at her parents and brother and sister. She's searching for any sign that today's news will, in fact, prove … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 56

A tough place for a decision Perched on the fence with a strong wind blowing. That's what Day 56 feels like, the second day of November 1918. The fence is the issue of re-opening or not, the perch is the indecision over which to do, to stay closed or to end closures, and the wind is the trend of most American communities to stop quarantines, stop the bans on all sorts of public … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 55

Eagle River, Colorado Next time you're by a river, take a minute to stand and watch. Watch closely. The current has currents. Water is on top of water with different depths, bottoms, and barriers. The grade, the banks, the wind, each affects the shape and leaves a mark. There's a lot going on in every river. So, take a minute. Stand. Watch. Closely. There's a lot going on in the River of … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 54

Costumes, 1918 Violet Harris, 15 years old, copes with influenza in her home town of Seattle, Washington, as best she can. While the illness has devastated much of the city, so far no one in her family has died. The Harris family has tried to do their part, to follow the rules, the orders, the laws that seem to pop up day by day to fight the sickness. For Violet, a few of the changes are even … [Read more...]

Learning From the 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 53

The French Lick Hotel, 1918 Blurred, mixed, and ragged. Most of the time you're dealing with lesser evils and shifting boundaries. Sound familiar? Then you're right at home with influenza on Day 53, October 30, 1918. There are places where things are getting worse. The leading newspaper in Idaho informs readers that "stricter rules may be needed to curb influenza." Nearby, the health … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 50

A World War event, Grant Park, Chicago No river runs straight all of the time. The question is the bend—how big, how sharp, how different once the turn is made. You only know by going round. On top of Carter's Mountain in North Carolina, you hear the sound of a hammer hitting a nail. A man makes a coffin. A stack of lumber is nearby, ready material for the second one to be made. Wha-ping. … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 49

Sharp Street Church, near the burial site Influenza, the heartbreak of today. One day before his first wedding anniversary, 20-year old Henry Kulp is buried in Souderton, Pennsylvania. The president of the University of North Carolina, Edward Kidder Graham, dies. It was his dream job as a 1894 grad of the school and its first journalism professor. Two Catholic priests die in Baltimore, … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 48

You get stuck. The things you see around you; the tilt and trend down to now and your memory of the past weeks; the things you're looking to see in the day, days, and week after today; those fixed events already set or expected several weeks or a few months ahead. You're somewhere between all of these states of time, states of being, and states of mind. With so much floating and swirling, you feel … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 47

In Ohio, a temporary hospital. The trends are bad, no matter what they tell you, but that's not the whole story. More to tell, more to know. Day 47, October 24, 1918. Today, people are jumping in, taking action, making a difference in the circles around them. Water on the rock—though pressures from influenza do wear us down, at the same time they reveal beauty, worth, and essence. As tidal … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 46

Camp Custer, October 1918 The future is like the sun. Stare at it and your eyes go bad. Now well into the sixth week, Day 46, and Americans are looking forward, sizing up the shapes and objects ahead. They hope to see an edge sharpen to an end and a line drawn for a beginning. But it's hard to really see much. The only thing visible is a blinding light. And looking longer doesn't help. In … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 45

A truckload of coffins for influenza fatalities Through the gray cloud of influenza a flash of light is seen on October 22, 1918, Day 45 of the pandemic. Dr. Edward Rosenow is 43 years old and has for some time been regarded as brilliant in his field of medical research, a producer of "monumental work" as one person put it. A few weeks before influenza's outbreak at Fort Devens, … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 44

Sanitation workers, Chicago Climb the ladder, from bottom to top. Influenza waits at every rung. From one family. A Polish family lives in Winona, Minnesota. A doctor visits their home and is shocked at the sight—both parents and all ten of their children suffer from influenza today. The doctor looks around the house and sees next to nothing of anything. Little food, few household goods, … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 43

Joseph Fuccy belonged to this team All sorts of horse races were up in the air on the forty-third day since hell bolted free at Fort Devens, Massachusetts. There was the natural kind. The horses expected to run at Pimlico Race Track near Baltimore, Maryland were still in their stalls. Race officials in Maryland and at Pimlico were going back-and-forth about holding races. For now, they had … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 42

Dr. White's workplace When can it become just too much? One of the too-much times can be when a bad thing you didn't expect joins the bad thing you're already coping with. And the more sudden, the more jolting the second bad thing is...well, it can be very hard to absorb. That's the start of Day 42 in the home called Place. He is Homer. She is Bertha. They're the Places, Mr and Mrs … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 41

Navy Building, Washington DC In their locations, they were a half-mile apart at most. In their hierarchies of work, they were a universe apart at least. Nonetheless, on the 41st day since influenza began to rip apart Fort Devens, Massachusetts, they were joined in a life of pandemic whether they knew it or not. October 18, 1918. The Native American typist named Lutiant Van Wert or Luciant … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 40

Through The Looking Glass A hand held a pen. Ink on the tip. A few dashing strokes crossed out a word here, inserted a word there. The writer stared at the sheet, then stopped for the day. Almost ready as a book, almost finished as a story, almost born as a warning that, sadly, will never need to die. "I'll believe in you, if you'll believe in me. Is that a bargain?" In 1871 so said the … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 39

Mail carrier In New York City, on the 39th day since the outbreak at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, begins October 16, 1918. A mail carrier walks down the street with a mask on his face. An office worker sits at her desk, typing a letter and wearing a mask on her face. Across the city, if the reports are accurate, more than 400 people die today of influenza or a related illness. And the hard … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 38

On Day 38, October 15, 1918, the heat turns up. Inside the pot, steam rises, water boils, and something turns over and over. At the town of Verdun on the banks of the Meuse River, a group of boys-boiled-men follows Captain Harry Truman back into combat. They've been away from the fighting Germans for a bit. Their enemy for some days was the sickness, influenza, that is killing as many as the … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 36

Fatalaties per 100,000 due to influenza, Minneapolis and St. Paul, to October 13, 1918 Far north. Far south. A young couple in love and a couple of perspectives on the day. Let's take them in turn and a few others in between. Day 36, October 13, 1918. Minneapolis and St. Paul are side-by-side in Minnesota. Together, today, the two cities reel from the misery of influenza. It's the … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 35

Young influenza patients in an Oklahoma City Hospital, 1918 Is it normal? Hell no. Is it abnormal? Way beyond that. Well, then, what is it? I don't really know other than to say it's massive. Truer words were never spoken, written, thought, or felt. Day 35, October 12, 1918. You can't really know. That's the reality in Philadelphia when 837 people die today. Or when the city of … [Read more...]

Working Paper: Today In 1918, First Month

Influenza Epidemic 1918 - Policemen in Seattle, Washington, wearing masks made by the Seattle Chapter of the Red Cross, during the influenza epidemic. (National Archives) This is your summary of the first 28 days of my Today In 1918 series. I offer it as a higher-level look with closing thoughts on ramifications for you. Estimated reading time: 20-40 minutes. Contact me if you wish to discuss … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 33

"Entire Country In Grip Of Flu and Pneumonia." That's the headline in a newspaper in an American city on Day 33. Dead accurate, you might say. Everywhere you look things are upside down on October 10, 1918. Illness, suffering, decline, recovery, death, and sometimes none of these. Fears, doubts. And you're not supposed to meet in groups, not supposed to shop, not supposed to spit, not supposed … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 32

Madam CJ Walker 32 days. It's generally thought that it takes 32 days to form a habit. From pronouncement to reality, 32 days have to tick by before you can say a New Year's Resolution is now part of your daily living. It took something else 32 days to make a change. 32 days since influenza slipped into Fort Devens, Massachusetts and the daily life of the American nation is numbingly … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 31

High above the prairie, storm clouds fly in the night. Blown by air unusually warm for the second week of October, dark forms race through the sky. Rain is in the black air. It is a witching hour, well before the tilt and turn of the earth brings another dawn. On the prairie is a camp. Hundreds of buildings are silent and dark. Barns, barracks, quarters, and storehouses, not a person stirs … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 29

Hoarding, 1918-style Crisis comes and goes at different times for different people. You have a sense that often tells you when it has arrived or departed. You can know it. The arrival of crisis is known today in Cincinnati, Ohio. It's Day 29, October 6, 1918, and the city shuts down. Just about everything closes until someone in a position of authority decides otherwise. People across … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 28

Seattle Mayor Ole Hanson, 1918 Change is a constant but not all constants change overnight. Only some surge, or plunge, to that level. Today, on Day 28, overnight is now and lasts for a full twenty-four hours on October 5, 1918. Overnight, a ban on all indoor public gatherings begins in Seattle, Washington. Mayor Ole Hanson declares that the only public gatherings allowed will be those … [Read more...]

The Shadow Of Late Winter

On January 24 I wrote my first post to a closed group of Alumni about Covid-19 and its likely importance for your personal leadership. On March 5 I found lessons from 1918 and shared them in the post below (which I've reproduced here). It was for my followers on LinkedIn. It seems to me that it hit and still hits the mark. So, I'll ask you now, standing a few days ahead of Easter and spring all … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 27

The crater of October 4 Life never stops, not in its variety or surprises or challenges. Today, Day 27, October 4, 1918, the earth shudders around the town of Morgan, New Jersey. Martial law is declared. People fear for their lives and safety. Survival is the question, and no one knows for certain. Life gets a vote. One of the largest non-nuclear explosions in American history rips … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 26

Telegraph machine, a better Twitter This guy has the perfect name for Day 26, that's for sure. Dr. Benjamin Franklin Royer sits in his office in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The sign on his desk reads: "Pennsylvania State Health Commissioner." During a fast-flowing 26th Day of influenza, Dr. Royer directs his assistant to type a message. In a few minutes the message will be converted into a … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 25

An Ohio newspaper, October 2, 1918 October 2, 1918, the 25th day of influenza after its appearance at Fort Devens, Massachusetts. There is a feeling that the worst is here and that the worst is headed somewhere. Deaths and cases roll into new areas across the nation—in Camp Gordon, Atlanta, Georgia; Red Cloud, Nebraska; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and the Naval Training Station at the … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 24

American flag, 1918 500 young men raise their hands and look up into the sky. Their focus is a flagpole standing in the center of the young men. Atop the pole is the 48-star American flag. An Army officer and a Union College official read aloud, in full speaking voice, the words from of a sheet of paper. At this ceremony in Schenectady, New York, the incoming class of Students' Army Training … [Read more...]

Learning From the 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 23

Hospital at Fort Benjamin Harrison, outside Indianapolis, Indiana, 1918 A young nurse leans over a sick soldier, wipes his forehead, and gives him a drink of water. She smiles and speaks softly. He opens his eyes, the color of his face is pale but not blue. Not yet, thank heaven. She moves away and leans over the next soldier on a cot, and the next, and the next. Twenty-five in all. This is Day … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 22

The first influenza case arrives at Camp Custer, Battle Creek, Michigan on Day 22 Do you know that thing you're doing? That sacrifice and extra effort? Well, you better get yourself ready to do more. Today, Day 22, September 29, 1918, doing more than expected is how life goes. At Fort Devens, Massachusetts the medical facility was meant for 1200 patients. No longer—6000 sick men were there. … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 21

Take a quick breath to take stock. Three weeks ago. Day 1, influenza begins at Fort Devens, Massachusetts. It's back after an outbreak some three months before, in the spring, a seasonal thing. Now, on Day 21, Saturday, September 28, 1918... ...a helluva day. At 1am this morning Major Ernest Gibson and his military comrades were ordered into line and told to start marching from their … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 20

Looking north, across the Ohio River, from Newport, Kentucky, early 20th century He's "one of the most robust men in Newport, Kentucky," his hometown on the Ohio. That's the general view of Joseph Schulkin. Yesterday, he got influenza. Today, he's dead. The water flowing by when he became ill is now, at his death, a few miles closer to joining the Mississippi at Cairo, Illinois. The river rolls … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 19

Artillery fire, Meuse-Argonne Offensive At 5:30 in the morning, September 26, it begins. And this is what it's supposed to be all about. This is what we're focused on. The work, the effort, the strain, the sacrifice. Day 1 in that world, while it's Day 19 everywhere else. Boom. Orange fire and a dark object screams across the sky. Seconds later, almost four miles away, an … [Read more...]

April Trials

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Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 18

A Jackie Band near Winnekta, Illinois, 1918 News large and important. Printed in newspapers, transcribed on telegrams, written in letters. Read by thousands, read by dozens, read by one. Word is spreading about life in a world that is—like it or not, choose it or not, know it or not—abruptly new. Day 18, September 25, 1918. For the thousands... A leading newspaper in Charlotte, North … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 17

September 24, 1918 Camp Dix, New Jersey, the shadows of a sunny day Warm and sunny, one of those great fall days. You're in line. One by one, they line up. You're stepping forward, a few feet at a time. You normally train for war but today, you're doing something else. Into the wooden shed you go. They hand you a cup of warm, salted water. They bark at you: go outside, tilt your head back, … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 16

An American worker, 1918 A guy named Wiley Eastwood is a good stand-in for hundreds of thousands of Americans today, Day 16, September 23, 1918. A hard-worker, Eastwood goes to his job—earns his pay, like always—but in the late morning starts feeling weak, fevered, coughing. Lunchtime comes and goes and he's worse. Finally, he just can't keep going. It's time to talk with the boss. Eastwood … [Read more...]

Learning From the 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 15

Dr. William Welch, 1918 You turn the corner and there it is. A sudden shock. The look and feel of an unknown that is total, that is capable of swallowing up everything you are and everything you're ready to do. Beyond your experience, your expectations. Beyond all there is in you. You turn the corner and there it is. On this fifteenth day, September 22, 1918, a young mother and her two young … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 14

Crouse-Irving Hospital in Syracuse, New York Two weeks on, September 21, 1918, and the remedies started flowing in. Some folks say don't let your feet get wet and watch out for signs of blocked bowels. Others assert that chewing food well and drinking lots of water is the answer. Eating onions, drinking sour milk, the list grows of what people hope will be the cure, the trick, that keeps them … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 13

Lt. Hugh Coughlin of Escanaba, Michigan It was a day of youth. 21-year old Hugh Coughlin is with his parents at their home in Escanaba, Michigan. His mother touches his forehead. He's hot with fever. His father hears him cough. A deep and rattling thickness. Mom and Dad together exchange a worried look at seeing their son. He suffers in pain. Of course, they're thrilled to have him home; the … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 12

Dr. John Hurty The phone rings at an office in the state capital of Indiana. The ringing is heard at the wooden desk of Indiana's Secretary of the State Board of Health. Dr. John Hurty. Holding up the heavy black phone to his ear with one hand, Hurty hears US Surgeon General Rupert Blue on the other end of the line. Hurty listens for a few moments, asks a question or two, and then thanks Blue … [Read more...]

The Puzzle Of 1968

A lab technician in 1968 helping with response to influenza. I don't want to be misinterpreted here. But the more I write, the thinner the ice beneath me. A crack, I just heard a crack. Heck with it. I'm going forward, slowly. I'll have to depend on your judgment and willingness to offer me the benefit of the doubt. Yes, I fully support the current understanding of Covid-19 and … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 11

A Cincinnati barbershop, fall 1918 Just the "Grippe." Only the grippe. Don't freak out over the standard seasonal cough, fever, and aches that everyone calls "the grippe." Newspaper editors and writers are telling lots of readers today that the illness everyone's talking about is simply another outbreak of seasonal flu. They say it in Cincinnati today when one of the city's newspapers … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 10

From Boston, 1918 Among the vast reality of Day 10 come these two moments on the same day from nearly the same place in Massachusetts. In Cambridge, Massachusetts a telegraph operator tapped out a message. Seconds later, the transmission sped like a flash to South Dakota where another telegraph operator recorded the signals and wrote a note. Within an hour or so, Mrs. Arthur Neilson of Hot … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 9

John Dill Robertson He's known as "Dill Pickle" by some in his department, by some of his followers. He is Dr. John Dill Robertson, public health director for the city of Chicago, Illinois. On this day, Day 9 of the Influenza Pandemic (September 16, 1918), Dr. Robertson announces to the people of Chicago that influenza is now a reportable disease. Big deal? Honestly, yes, it is for the folks in … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 7

The past has a voice. https://youtu.be/7k20VFZeLKY 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 … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 6

On this sixth day a team of public health specialists works at Fort Devens in Massachusetts. They study conditions at Devens following the prior day's report of an influenza outbreak. But before they had arrived, a group of US soldiers had left Devens, bound for Fort Upton on Long Island, New York. Carrying the sickness unknowingly with them, the soldiers prepare at Long Island to leave for France … [Read more...]

Learning From the 1918 Pandemic: Day 5

1918 Influenza Pandemic Day 5 (first entry) The first case of influenza appears at Fort Devens in Massachusetts five days ago, regarded (for our purposes on this blog) as Day 1. Similar outbreaks are occurring across the Atlantic in Europe. The Fort Devens case is the first US case inland from naval facilities in Boston. A team of experts plans to travel to Devens to examine conditions. The … [Read more...]

1918: First Entry Tomorrow

Tomorrow, St. Patrick's Day, Tuesday, March 17, 2020 I will begin my new exploration of the 1918 pandemic and its application for Covid 19 in 2020. … [Read more...]

I Now Equal Six

I now equal six. A month or so ago it was five. I'm adding one to make six. This is the number of events that have affected me deeply over my lifetime. Like me, you have a number. For me, three of them are personal and individual. A tornado in the mid-1970s, a baptism in the mid-1990s, and a set of moments made by my wife and two daughters over the past couple of decades. … [Read more...]

One Young Woman–Covid 19, 1918, And Your Leadership

Thank you for seeking out more information from the experience of an unknown leader, 32-year old Edna Fletcher. Pictured above, she was a significant healthcare leader at Methodist Hospital (now Indiana University Health Methodist) in Indianapolis, Indiana. Below are brief points from her experience. I believe they can help you in your leadership right now and the days ahead. (Contact me at … [Read more...]