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...]

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 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...]