Excerpts for a 1920's newspaper during the Spanish Flu
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Spanish Flu, 1918. Family Portrait.
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A London couple wearing masks during the Spanish Flu pandemic. С. 1919
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Couple kissing with surgical masks to prevent infection during a flu epidemic, 1937.
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Photo from the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic, “wear a mask or go to jail”. The Spanish flu did not originate in Spain despite its name. It’s called the Spanish Flu as this is where the first reports of the deadly outbreak came from. During WW1, Spain was somewhat neutral and was one of the only countries who’s media wasn’t heavily censored. This led to everyone thinking that Spain was ground zero as this is where most of the reports came from.
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Letter from Lutiant Van Wert to her friend Louise about her work as a nurse during the Influenza epidemic, and about the rest of her life (pp. 1, 4, 6, 7), 10/17/1918
“So everybody has the "Flu" at Haskell?”
File Unit: Contagious Epidemics, 1904 - 1941
Series: Subject Correspondence Files, 1904 - 1941
Record Group 75: Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, 1793 - 1999
231-14th St. South East.
October 17, 1918.
Dear friend Louise:
So everybody has the "Flu" at Haskell? I wish to goodness Miss Keck and Mrs. McK. would get it and die with it. Really, it would be such a good riddance, and not much lost either! As many as 90 people die everyday here with the "Flu". Soldiers too, are dying by the dozens. So far, Felicity, C. Zane, and I are the only ones of the Indian girls who have not had it. We certainly consider ourselves lucky too, believe me. Katherine [first e was struck through] and I just returned last Sunday evening from Camp Humphreys "Somewher in Virginia" where we volunteered to help nurse soldiers sick with the Influenza. We were there at the Camp ten days among some of the very worse cases and yet we did not contract it. We had intended staying much longer that we did, but the work was entirely too hard for us, and anyway the soldiers were all getting better, so we came home to rest up a bit. We were day nurses and stationed in the Officer's barracks for six days and then transferred to the Private's barracks or hospital and were there four days before we came back. All nurses were required to work twelve hours a day--we worked from seven in the morning until seven at night, with only a short time for luncheon and dinner.
I was so tired I never took special notice, but I thought I had my own bag. When I opened it to get out my comb and powder--behold! There was a kit-bag fully equiped and a knitted sweater in it, plus a few other trinkets'. I knew then, whose aag I had, so checked my suit case and started out to look for this soldier and exchange bags, as I thought he had mine. After walking around 45 minutes I began to despair of ever finding him and started back to the Ladies room and I came upon him sitting in one corner. I recognized my bag right away and went to exchange. He was simply so tickled to get his bag back he almost squeezed the life out of my hand when he shook it. I had my card and destination tacked on the handle fo my bag, so he found out where I was going without telling him--and as fate would have it--he was going to D. C. too, so we traveled the rest of the way together. He is a perfect gentlemen, and sure treated me nice on the way. Since I am located here, he has been down to our house twice to see me since I came back from Camp Humphreys, and he sure wants me to come down to Potomac Park as a nurse. He is not what one would call "handsome" but he is certainly [underlined] good-looking [/underlined], and on top of all that--he is a CATHOLIC. Sure like it for myself too. All the girls have soldiers--Indian girls also. Some of the girls have soldiers and sailors too. The boys are particularly crazy about the Indian girls. They tell us that the Indian girls are not so "easy" as the white girls, so I guess maybe that's their reason.
A lot of the girls from the Office here go out to sell bonds but some of them dont make much of a success. One of the Indian girls, named Cathryne Welch, went out last week to sell bonds and she sold so many that she got escused from the Office for the rest of this week to do nothing but sell bonds. She is a very pretty girl--a high school graduate and one year normal. She has two brothers in the army--one is a Captain and the other a Sargeant. Maybe you remember seeing Capt. Gus Welch's picture in the K. C. Star--well that is her brother and he "over there" now.
All the schools, churches, theaters, dancing halls, etc. are closed here also. There is a bill in the Senate today authorizing all the war-workers to be released from work for the duration of this epidemic. It has not passed the house yet, but I can't help but hope it does. If it does, Lutiant can find plenty of things at home to busy herself with, or she might accidentally take a trip to Potomac Park. Ha! Ha!
It is perfectly alright about the sweater. I dont expect you to be able to get it while you are quartined, but will still be glad to have it if you can send it as soon as you are out of quartined. It is rather cold in Washington, but not cold enough to wear winter coats yet, and my suit coat is a little too thin, so I figured out that a sweater would be the thing to have. Sometimes it is cold enough to wear a wrap while working, but of course it is out of questio[n]
to work in a heavy winter coat. However, send it whenever you find it convenient to do so, and I will settle with you as promptly as possible.
Well Louise, if you are not dead tired of reading this letter, I'll write another like it some other time. There is still a lot I could tell you about D. C., but it's nearing lunch time and I want to be right ther on the dot, as I always am--to be sure.
Write again whenever you fine it convenient to do so--always glad to hear the Haskell news from you.
Sincerely your friend,
Address same as before.
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The history of the Spanish flu teaches a grim lesson about the comorbidity of hunger and infection. Almost 60 percent of global mortality (that’s at least 20 million deaths) in 1918–19 occurred in the Punjab, Bombay, and other parts of western India, where grain exports to Britain and brutal requisitioning practices coincided with a major drought. Resultant food shortages drove millions of poor people to the edge of starvation. They became victims of the sinister synergy between malnutrition—which suppressed their immune response to infection— and rampant bacterial, as well as viral, pneumonia. In a similar case, British-occupied Iran, several years of drought, cholera, and food shortages, followed by a widespread malaria outbreak, preconditioned the death of an estimated one-fifth of the population.
Mike Davis, The Monster Enters: COVID-19, Avian Flu and the Plagues of Capitalism
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Wear a mask or go to jail.
Spanish flu 1918
Source: Mill Valley Public Library
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Locust Avenue, masks on (1918)
Image cropped from the original at the Mill Valley Public Library's Lucretia Little History Room (photographer Raymond Coyne)
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Someday soon we all will be together
If the fates allow
Until then, we’ll have to muddle through somehow
So (try to) have yourself a merry little Christmas now
Christmas in 2020 is going to be far from perfect for most of us. But here’s to making it work. We hope your holiday and the rest of your 2020 is safe, healthy, and happy.
This shabby chic little tree was photographed at the telephone exchange office of the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company's South Philadelphia Works on December 24, 1918, during another difficult Christmas season also marked by a global pandemic.
This photographic print is from Hagley Library’s collection of Westinghouse Electric Corporation Steam Division photographs (Accession 1969.170). You can view more material from this collection online now by clicking here.
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all i’m saying is its kind of sadistic of smeyer to announce midnight sun during a pandemic when edward literally died in one
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Fit: having a cemetery picnic with my dead friend Ethel who died of Spanish flu and can relate to me about the pandemic
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Spanish Flu, 1918. Family Portrait.
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A woman wears the sign: "WEAR A MASK OR GO TO JAIL" during the influenza epidemic, California, 1918
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Beda Karolina Andersson, 1891-1918, Sweden. She died on November 10th of influenza in the 1918 pandemic. She had given birth on November 7th to her daughter Beda Kristina Ingeborg, who would follow her in death on February 11 1919.
Wikipedia: Spanish flu
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From the friendship ask game, 1 and 16 for Carlisle and Edward
(from the Friendship Headcanons ask list)
1. What were their first impressions of each other?
I don't think Edward would have crossed paths with Carlisle while his father was in the hospital, so I assume they first met when he and Elizabeth were bundled into their corner of the room/ward/whatever and Carlisle first made his rounds in there. Maybe their nurse mentioned how they had the best doctor in Chicago, so maybe Edward felt a little more hopeful. But also: If this is their best doctor and he couldn't save Daddy, what hope does Mother have?
By the time Carlisle first saw Edward on his rounds that day, the pandemic was already in its second wave (far worse than the first) and he was already so exhausted. He had worked through epidemics and pandemics before, but this one was especially cruel in how it so easily struck down young, healthy adults. When he saw Edward's condition and read about his history of childhood asthma in the chart, he knew at once how it was going to end. Another one, he thought wearily. He didn't have the energy to smile or dazzle anymore. He just got to work and prayed the boy's end would come quickly. And yet in the back of his mind, his exhaustion was hastening the end of that long debate he'd been having with himself for so many years. Cases like this one—the ones that were such a heartbreaking waste of youth—were bringing him to the brink of becoming ready. But that readiness brought a new, frightening pain of its own. "Those thoughts of Another one were starting to become Another one I might have saved.
16. Small acts of kindness they do for each other?
Edward's piano is often the medium through which he participates in family life. (And I love those fics where his piano has that kind of "voice" in the narrative.) So he has several pieces up his sleeve (including some original compositions) that he pulls out depending on what Carlisle might need to hear that day. He also has certain cheerful pieces that he plays to reassure Carlisle when he hears Carlisle worrying about him. "I'm fine," those pieces say with just a hint of an adolescent eye roll.
Carlisle wishes he had something like that! He tends do little practical things for Edward. He'll leave a book on Edward's bureau with an unspoken "This made me think of you/I think you'll like this." He still buys Edward an article of clothing here and there, even though Esme and Alice do most of that now. Sometimes he'll bring home the piano score for a new opera that's just come out.
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A bit of August 27th history...
479 BC - Greco-Persian Wars: Battle of Mycale won by Greek forces over Persian naval troops on Ionian coast; double victory with that of Plataea ends the Persian invasion
1883 - Krakatoa volcano, west of Java in Indonesia, erupts with a force of 1300 megatons and kills approx 40,000 people
1896 - Britain defeats Zanzibar in a 38 minute war; shortest recorded war in history
1913 - Gideon Sundback applies to patent all purpose zipper
1918 - Spanish Flu arrives in Boston, beginning the second and deadliest wave in the US
1928 - Kellogg - Briand Pact; 60 nations agree
1955 - “Guinness Book of World Records” 1st published (pictured)
2008 - Barack Obama becomes 1st African-American to be nominated by a major political party for President of the United States
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