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Living memories and dead of the 1918 Pandemic

by netsky / October 25, 2004 1:44 PM PDT

Ninety year old Ray next door described to my MP3 recorder his life story.

We are half way through this interesting man's long life.

It's for his great grandsons and all his future posterity. Kind of a neat gift, huh?

Anyway, we captured Ray's first hand recall of the pandemic as it touched his large family so isolated out in the brown grassed plains of North Dakota.

Of the six children and two parents all got sick with flu except for Ray and his dad. Nobody died. No neighbors on adjacent 160's died, either. But rougly six of every eight did get deathly ill.

Now for another Pandemic memory related to me by the late Elizabeth Grothe when she was 99 years old.

In her town of Bremerfurgen in Germany many people got sick and too many died. None in her family died, though.

Elizabeth herself seemed to be immune. The big hospital in the nearby port city of Bremerhaven was harder pressed than it could handle: shortage of doctors and nurses because so many had expired. More and more flu victims were coming in daily.

A call went out for any and all available young women to volunteer for nursing duty.

This is how Elizabeth began her long career in nursing: without a lick of training, but with a god-given immunity to flu.

I asked her what it was like in those hellish days of war and flu. She knew first hand only the horrors of flu.

"they were brought in so sick and so many we had to put them in chairs and cots and on the floors all in the hallways of the hospital. More often than not these people so sick they were, they died before we could put them in a room. It was so awful. The doctor who told me "you are young and you are strong you will be a nurse" he got sick and he died too. But I? I never got the flu, not ever not even to this day."

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Re: Living memories and dead of the 1918 Pandemic
by drpruner / October 27, 2004 6:18 AM PDT

"Elizabeth herself seemed to be immune"

Ain't life strange. Same think happened in smallpox and other epidemics/pandemics.

My strangest (second-hand) experience is still that it killed so many in the age groups that hardly ever die from "ordinary" flu.

Worldwide death toll is usually listed as 20 million, but was almost certainly much higher.

Our local graveyard has many deaths listed in 1918/1919. Some obviously soldiers overseas, but many were locals, no doubt flu victims.

Regards, Doug in New Mexico

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Re: Living memories and dead of the 1918 Pandemic
by netsky / October 29, 2004 1:03 PM PDT

"My strangest (second-hand) experience is still that it killed so many in the age groups that hardly ever die from "ordinary" flu."

Perhaps the answer is found in Dave Konkel's more comprehensive thread. I confess i have not read it because it was evolved before my recent rejoining here at SE.

I forgot one quote of Elizabeths- and append it here. Of her hospital experince she said "they were dropping like flies", these sickest of the afflicted.

From recollections of recent experts, it has long been expected that a new kind of flu will again pandemic around the world with death rates similar or even greater than the original pandemic.

thanks for your insights. The mention of local gravestones is a touching reminder that we live in different time, but not at truly reduced risk of meeting with a 1918-style of death ourselves.

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this anonymous email just received today
by netsky / October 29, 2004 2:03 PM PDT

The "F" Word
> I shall seek and find you.
> I shall take you to bed and have my way with you.
> I will make you ache, shake, and sweat until you moan and groan.
> I will make you beg for mercy, beg me to stop.
> I will exhaust you to the point that you will be relieved when I'm
> finished with you. And you will be weak for days.
> All my love,
> The Flu

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Re: this anonymous email just received today
by Chorus-Line A1-QMS / October 30, 2004 12:03 AM PDT

Good goddess oral-mighty! Sounds like a pretty cockup serial rapist quotes.

Have you thought about using malewasher to check your inbox?


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"Netsky, never say 1918/flu to Doug!"
by drpruner / November 2, 2004 1:46 AM PST


I always look for more than the usual significance in events since the time of WWI. At Mt 24:7-14, Jesus responded to his disciples' question about the timing of the 'end of the world' with a composite sign, prophesying extraordinary events, including this: "For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be food shortages and earthquakes in one place after another. All these things are a beginning of pangs of distress." The account at Luke 21 adds "and in one place after another pestilences." Many of us who study the Bible as if it's a real book ( Happy ) believe that this period of time started in the fall of 1914. If so, Jesus has come back (Mt 24:3), and we are now in the 'beginning of the end of the end.' (Mt 24:6)

I'm not alone in this. See Dave Konkel's comments in his thread, "Pray they can, or comes the pandemic." That's not to say he has my worldview - far from it - but he and others understand that humankind's "highly evolved" stature and residence in the 21st century haven't kept us from suffering serious harm on a global scale.

That's not to say that the problems come from God or Satan or any particular source. The prophecies said they would come, and here they are. They serve as part of the sign, not as punishment on any particular group. We could say they came from Adam, since he had a conflict- and disease-free life before his disobedience. We inherited his imperfections, so "Man, born of woman, is short-lived and glutted with agitation." But these days are different: AIDS is now a bigger killer than The Flu. TB and malaria are back, as is polio in Africa. Rape is an "accepted" weapon of war.

Speaking of prophecies, Noah's flood killed many violent, godless people. (Gen 6:13; Mt 24:37; 2Pe 3:5-7) All others (except Noah's family) died, too, including those who didn't or couldn't take part in the violence. Do you notice why those failed to come in to the ark's safety?

Regards, Doug in New Mexico

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I am on the run...
by netsky / November 2, 2004 5:15 AM PST

But YES i wan't to spend real time with your reply tomorrow. I want to reflect and soak you all in.

Yours in Chrisitan-like fellowship,

your fellow ark-mate,


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(NT) (NT) Please take your time - it's life-and-death; Joh 17:3
by drpruner / November 3, 2004 2:54 AM PST
In reply to: I am on the run...
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