Yes, we are in “unprecedented” times with the worldwide coronavirus pandemic; but who would have thought, just a few weeks ago, that we would be making comparisons with the pandemic of 100 years ago. As the First World War ended the influenza pandemic took many millions of lives and, in her diaries, Sister Edith Appleton makes several mentions of it.
If you go to this page on Edie’s website – http://anurseatthefront.org.uk/the-diaries-all-four-volumes/the-diaries-volume-4/ – and do a word search for ‘influenza’ you will find eight references. Here’s what she says on 9 August 1918:
“A very funny thing for about 10 days: I have felt positively ill, like influenza with a stiff neck and left arm; and nothing has done it much good – rubbing, applications, all have failed. So, I sort of settled down to calling it “chronic rheumatism” and letting it take its chance. It is like a bad toothache – mine is a good bit better now – but I can’t look sideways very well. Well – that is not the funny thing.”
One can’t but make comparisons with our wonderful NHS 100 years later…and the half million people who have enlisted as volunteers to help and support the NHS.
Let’s all join the national show of support at 8pm this evening, Thursday 26 March 2020: CLAP FOR OUR CARERS. Lots of info about this on the internet.