There seems to be so much misinformation around at the moment. I have been silent for fear of adding to it. Please bear in mind that I am only human and as such I make mistakes. Please check any information I share.
I have decided to return to my roots. Some people consider the study of history a waste of time. How many times have I been told to leave the past behind? From my perspective it means learning from my mistakes.
I usually hold my frustation at such statements about forgetting the past, in check. Today at the risk of losing all my subscribers, I say,
“I feel it’s a shame a few more people don’t pay heed to the past.”
If you are still subscribed, “Thank you.”
Today I have been investigating the newspaper archives, in the hope of obtaining helpful information concerning our current pandemic, by investigating the last one in 1918(?)
You will understand my question mark later.
Having so far given the newspapers a somewhat cursary glance, the first thing which immediately, burst into my consciousness was the locations listed.
“Measured by last week’s mortality, the highest annual death rate from all causes per thousand living were:
Edmonton 60.6,Portsmouth 63.2,Cardiff 62.2,in Hull 63.1, Bootle 67.4, 71.4 in Leicester, 72. 1 in Birkenhead, 74.6 in Oxford.”
From The Westminster Gazette, Thursday 31st October, 1918.
Covid-19 in 2020
Current figures state Ashford in Kent had the highest death rate in the current pandemic. 36.5 deaths per 100 000 people. The area with the highest overall death rate in the current pandemic, is Brent in London. It has a rate of 216.6 per 100 000 people. From Leicestershire Mercury
Back To The 1918 Pandemic
Reuters reported (according to Aberdeen Press and Journal – Thursday 20 January 1916)
“A great epidemic of influenza rages in The United States many deaths being caused in the larger cities.”
According to the Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser London seemed to have been threatened with an influenza epidemic February 2015.After many weeks of “apparent immunity” from the disease as it had spread elsewhere in the country.
It seems to my elderly brain, that the influenza pandemic may have started as early as 1915 but people were too busy with World War One, for it to be sufficiently noticed.
For some reason there were also over 1000 references to influenza in 1910, which is almost as high as at the peak of the 1918(?) Pandemic. The numbers of stories relating to influenza in the British Newspaper Archives doubled between1914 and 1915.
Is it possible the pandemic actually started in 1915?
My research is at a very early stage but I feel this line of investigation may produce some interesting results or am I just disappearing down some rabbit hole?