Hadrian's Wall

Hadrian's Wall
Hadrian's Wall at sunset

Monday, July 11, 2016

One Word For The 1918 Pandemic Flu - Horrifying



I've been immersed in 1918 for about a year now, working on a novel about the Pandemic Flu.

The pandemic flu of 1918-1919 killed more people worldwide than the Great War, WWI. Estimates vary, but it's believed about 100 million people died of this virulent plague, and very possibly even more than that because many deaths went unreported.

An influenza epidemic usually results in higher mortality at the beginning and end of the age spectrum: infants and small children, and the elderly. This flu was different and completely unexpected as most of the fatalities were in the 20 to 40 years of age group.

People in their prime of life.

If you go back into your own family history it's quite possible you have an ancestor who died in this pandemic. Or if you happen to be in an old cemetery and see many deaths in the same family in 1918, again, it's quite likely the flu killed them.

The scary thing about the Pandemic Flu is that it will happen again.


4 comments:

  1. I so appreciate the research you do for the books your write! The inclusion of REAL history with the story line is what I LOVE about your books <3

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  2. Thanks, Wendy. The research is a big part of it. I did read somewhere that authors only use about 20% of their research material. Sometimes I may spend two hours researching a particular thing, just so I can write one correct sentence.

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  3. Fascinating subject!
    I'm working on something set in the early 20s, so while the pandemic was over in my chosen setting, the impact would still be pretty strong for the characters.

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  4. Thanks for commenting, Lily. Yes, the effect of the pandemic flu rippled down through the next several generations. Since it primarily affected people from ages 20 to 40, thousands of children were left orphans. Almost every family lost someone. In my case, it was my grandmother's fifteen year old daughter. Some of those orphans grew up to study epidemiology as a result of losing their parents. What is your story about?

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