Today I watched a documentary presentation on the C-Span 3 network entitled “Influenza Pandemic and World War I..” The presenter was Nancy Bristow, professor of history, University of Puget Sound. The presentation was originally broadcast live on Nov. 1, 2019, from the National WWI Museum & Memorial in Kansas City, MO.
Prof. Bristow made the point in her presentation that the so-called Spanish Flu pandemic began in 1918 but recurred through 1920. She discussed how it started Camp Funston, an Army base in Kansas and quickly spread to many other Army bases and into the general population. What she related sounded eerily like what we are experiencing with Covid19 in March of 2020.
Do learn more about the 1918 pandemic, I turned to Wikipedia, which provided the following: “The Influenza pandemic of 1918 was a serious pandemic of influenza. It lasted for three years, from January 1918 to December 1920. About 500 million people were infected across the world. The pandemic spread to remote Pacific Islands and the Arctic. It killed 50 million to 100 million people— three to five percent of the world’s population at the time. This means it was one of the deadliest natural disasters in human history.”
Grandpa Wallace Betts Dingman died on 01 Apr 1920. As I pointed out in an earlier blog posting ( http://www.collectingancestors.com/2017/12/21/more-on-grandpa-wallace-dingman/ ), the cause of his death is a mystery. His death certificate was filled out by a doctor who reported “I have no knowledge as to cause of Death. He was treated by a Christin Cientist [sic]. “
An obituary I have from the Andover Citizen states that he was ill for several days and then attended an auction Shortly after that his condition worsened resulting in his death.
Having learned the extent of the 1918 Flu pandemic, I now suspect that Grandpa might have been a victim of that disease.
One final note: The 1918 pandemic was commonly referred to as the Spanish Flu.At the time, the U.S. government Wikipedia points out that: “To maintain morale, wartime censors reduced reports of illness and mortality in Germany, Britain, France, and the United States; but papers could report the epidemic’s effects in neutral Spain (such as the grave illness of King Alfonso XIII. This situation created the false impression of Spain being especially hard-hit. It also resulted in the nickname Spanish flu.