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)