In the family photo, she is a strikingly beautiful young mother, vibrant and healthy.
At age 24, she gives birth to my father. Five weeks later, on June 18, 1918, she is dead, one 0f the tens of millions of victims of the 1918 influenza outbreak that raged between March, 1918 and June, 1920.
My mother-in-law, born in 1907, remembered so many people dying in Cartersville that the town ran out of caskets to bury them. Death, disproportionately to the young, hit most every family.
Fearing another possible flu pandemic, the Obama Administration and other governments around the world declared a public health emergency this weekend as clusters of swine flu started surfacing around the globe. The U.S. declaration allows the feds to ship 12 million doses of flu-fighting medications to the states. So far, the 20 confirmed cases in this country are mild and no extraordinary medical response is yet warranted.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention official said Sunday that the current flu vaccine does not appear to offer any added protection against the new virus, though older people who’ve been exposed to the mutating viruses for decades may have built up some immunity.
I’m curious, here, whether anybody’s planning any changes in your lifestyles or daily routines as a result of the building concern about this particular strain of the flu. Anybody stocking up on food? Planning to work from home? Avoiding large public gatherings? Headed for the hills or the countryside? Nobody would have taken these actions yet, of course, so the question really is a gauge of your thinking and whether you’re concerned about this strain.