# A remarkable picture from the 1918 influenza epidemic.

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in Health

Heroic nurses, risking their lives, caring for the sick.

1918: Nurses care for victims of a Spanish influenza epidemic outdoors amidst canvas tents during an outdoor fresh air cure, Lawrence, Massachusetts. Photo from Hulton Archive / Getty Images.

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Some tears and snuffles for your photo, Tink. As you know, I have been reading history to understand the factors that brought us into the political/economic/social imbroglios we face today.

That includes the Spanish flu as well as the Black Plague. And I remember from that flu pandemic, the single most important factor in whether someone survived the Spanish flu -- was the quality of nursing care.

And so many stories...courageous, dedicated people successfully nursing others back to life, only to contract the flu from their patient(s) or loved ones, and then succumb themselves.

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Tragically, many soldiers who survived WW1 died of the flu, including Col. John McCrae, who composed "In Flanders Fields".

For you, dear Col. John McCrae,

And all who died, I hope and pray,

Will be remembered for all time

In hallowed peace and rest sublime

Before and since that dreadful day

In Flanders Fields.

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It's lovely, Tink...I am glad to see him acknowledged with your beautiful talent.

I now can see myself better, because as I studied history I tended to become a bit clinical and logical as I study all these tragic times...and now the coronavirus brings home to our time a small but truer sense of what our ancestors endured.

Recalling the year 1666 AD in London -- and yet another visitation of the bubonic plague. With the Biblical significance of the year's number, people truly wondered if the world was coming to an end, pondered Armageddon.

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As I mentioned to Goranko below, the suffering of times like that is hard to imagine today.

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I hope every health workers caring for the Coronavirus patients will be safe and every patient will recover quickly.

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Yes Dan it's a wonderful hope, may it be so may it be so.

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I personally don't think this will be anywhere near as bad as 1918 because medical knowledge is much better. I think we can learn to deal with this until medicines start hitting the market! You know some companies are working day and night to be the first to find the cure or vaccine because that company is going to rake in the bucks! \$

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You are right, Rooster. The Spanish flu killed about 40 million worldwide, or about 2% of the entire world population at that time. Covid-19 will not come close to doing that.

Just to piggy-back off your article, this:

I was surprised that teens were among the hardest hit.  You would think they would have been among the strongest age group to survive.

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I've heard it speculated that older people had a degree of immunity to Spanish flu from having caught less deadly strains of that virus when they were younger, but that many teenagers and young adults hadn't ever had this earlier immunizing exposure.