Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Nurses During Flu Pandemic of 1918

Today's picture is from 1918, and shows nurses transporting a victim of the Flu Pandemic. This was one of the worst pandemics of all time, and killed over 50 million people worldwide.

I am happy to report that the great furniture shopping spree has finally ended, and we got home last night, and got the furniture unloaded. Hopefully we will not have to go through this again for a long time.

19 comments:

  1. One really must admire the medical personnel of that time. The Spanish Influenza was a total unknown, and they really were fighting in the dark.

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  2. I am enjoying these photss and I am glad you have survived the furniture adventure, has given me a chuckle the last few days!

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  3. It was an incredibly deadly flu.

    In the US the fatalities from the flu during World War I were greater than from those which occurred due to actual fighting.

    Recently scientists here in the US resurrected the flu from bodies exhumed in the Alaskan Tundra.

    They tested it on animals and stopped the tests after a few days out of concerns for the animals suffering. By most accounts they were shocked at the results.

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  4. +JMJ+
    Happy New Year sir, with your new furniture! If you want to read about becoming a nurse at the turn of the century, Mary Roberts Rinehart wrote about her stint. Staunch ladies, every one !!! I believe they started her out cleaning up the o.r. after amputations (including taking out the . . . parts).

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  5. I believe research determined the 1918 Flu was actually a type of bird flu. I find that very scary. And yes, anyone willing to nurse the ill during this period was a very brave person indeed.

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  6. This photo has been misidentified. This is not a flu victim (although the symptoms are similar). This sorry fellow is a victim of the "The Great Spending Spree of '18." From what I understand, the chap was discovered lying on the pavement outside a furniture store - one hand grasping his chest and another clutching a bill of sale. Thankfully, his wife was able to recover his wallet before he was removed from the scene.

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  7. I thank you very much, webmaster, for this great blog. I really appreciate your posts.

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  8. good call nate, im still laffin,,
    oldbear.

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  9. Do we get to see any of the new purchases? I really do love that you are doing a nurses week--we are so unappreciated!

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  10. Glad you both had a safe journey
    throughout the furniture hunt,
    PJM.
    I have always thought nursing a
    courageous career choice and think
    Lady Anne summed it up well.

    Good joke, Nate.

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  11. Nate: Good one! Thanks for the laugh.
    PJM: Have you considered that this entire shopping spree is a result of (revenge, if you must) your trip to Fredericksburg? Remember when you & your daughter went to that charming town to 'buy the wife a birthday gift while she was at work'? Any woman would have been delighted with a trip to Fredericksburg as THE GIFT - to be left out....well, it's just unthinkable. She missed the herb garden and the wildseed place & the quaint shops and that funny, round museum and the restaurants. YUP, Sorry to have to tell you, but...it was payback time. Judi in WYo

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  12. Judi,
    Now you tell me. Why did you not warn me way back in the day BEFORE the said fredricksburg trip.
    PJM

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  13. The picture on today's post is named flue-nurses.jpg. So apparently the victim was a chimney sweep overcome from his work.

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  14. just feel happy that you are blessed with enough money to go on that spree, I live paycheck to paycheck and can only dream of a spree like that, unless i charged it, and I am not going there

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  15. Anon,
    Thank you for your post. It is true that I am thankful for the blessings God has provided. But the real blessings are not money, but a wonderful wife, a daughter that is a true joy to us, good health, and the knowledge that God loves us, and watches over.

    Two years ago we were living in an 18 foot airstream trailer with no heat. We spent about 26 months living in the trailer, with no creature comforts. When it got cold at night the pipes would freeze, and we would not have water till 3:00 in the afternoon when pipes finally thawed. Refrigerator barely worked, and mild would go bad after 2 days. We were just as happy there as we are now. People have trouble believing this, but money is not a blessing. Being able to be joyful no matter your circumstances is the real blessing, and something I believe is available to all.
    PJM

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  16. PJM:

    Happy New Year to you and to all the readers on this wonderful blog.

    And, you really hit the nail on the head.

    I recently inherited money from my mother, whom I took care of for five years until she passed away earlier this year.

    But I'd give it all back and then some to be able to see her and talk to her again and tell her how much I miss her.

    Money doesn't buy happiness or health.

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  17. Back in the '70's I worked in infectious disease research at a medical school. One day we had a guest speaker during Grand Rounds. This doctor collected unusual graphs.

    Silently, he showed us a photo of a bookshelf in a county health department in Oregon. It was bound books of death records by year. Prior to 1918, the volumes were slender, maybe 1/4 inch thick. Then, starting in late fall of 1918 the volumes become 1 inch thick or more, by month, until reaching the former size in the summer of 1919.

    Very sobering.

    My father was living in Kingsville, TX, during that epidemic. He said that it was in the news but didn't come to their area.

    As always, your photos are much appreciated.

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  18. I recall reading/hearing about one of the factors that contributed to the high death rate among soldiers was that they were under nourished, fatigued, exhausted, and just unable to fight off the virus. I also heard something about the H1N1 connection, and also a connection to the bubonic plague. Seems that people who survived the plague had a certain genetic marker, and those who had that marker also survived the 1918 influenza epidemic. There's research going on to find out what that means.

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  19. My great grandmother dies of that influenza.

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