“The worst pandemic in recent history, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was the 1918 so-called “Spanish flu” pandemic, caused by a virus “with genes of avian origin.” This was caused by a different virus than COVID-19 – coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine, hopkinsmedicine.org. Spanish flu hit America in the spring of 1918 and wasn’t finished with us until the summer of 1919.” For full story click here. Here’s a link to the transcript of an oral history done with a nurse who worked during the pandemic.
Oral history has become important to my work on the history of this influenza pandemic in Ireland, to understand what happened to families. Without the human voice, the statistics for death and sickness from disease are dry, skeletal bones of the story. Newspapers add in the sinews, the connectivity showing how and when it arrived, and where it spread next, and how the government, the health system and communities were coping. Read the full story here.