Have the new jab
The roll out of vaccines continues to improve after a very fitful start! It was just by a fluke that I happened to snag my appointment early on by filling out the survey with the health department. I had no idea that I’d be one of the first 5,000 in our district to be put in the pilot program with the University of Virginia 75 plus Employee Health. As of now, I’m feeling relief that I have both #1 and #2 dose when I see so many getting frustrated with the mechanics of securing their appointments. Pat also had his #1 and #2 dose, and the long-term care facility process went very smoothly. No major side effects for either one of us.
The federal government continues to act in getting information out to all Americans. Vaccination sites now include pharmacies and hospitals, as well as the mass vaccination sites around the district. It was just announced that the federal government is sending 25 million masks to Community Health Centers, Soup Kitchens and Food Pantries across the nation!!
I kept thinking about the memoir my Uncle Jack wrote about the period covering (1917-1927). I couldn’t remember if he’d written about the 1918 Flu Epidemic. I’ve been writing in his mother Anna’s, first-person voice with the information he’d provided. It was also during the time the US was at war with Germany and rationing food. (WWI)”
The number of deaths from the 2018 flu epidemic was estimated to be at least 50 million worldwide with about 675,000 occurring in the United States. Mortality was high in people younger than 5 years old, 20-40 years old, and 65 years and older.
Over the last year I’d stopped writing about his and my paternal grandmother’s experience because of COVID-19 brain fog and writer’s block. When I finally took the memoir out, I came across this section about their own experience with this deadly epidemic.
“The worldwide flu epidemic killed many people and we had our own scare when Jack got very sick. We put his bed in the front room where we could keep the temperature cold by opening the windows because the doctor believed this killed the germs. We covered him with lots of blankets. The only foods he could eat were soft foods like soft-boiled eggs, ice cream, custard, jello and rice pudding. He really liked this because we rarely had these delicious foods during the rationing. I tried to keep him quiet by propping him up with pillows so he could look out the window and watch the men build the new school across the street. They tore down all the houses that were there, leaving only the foundations, and putting up the school in their place. It was going to be named Roosevelt School.
Jack’s fifth birthday went by without our celebrating it because he was so sick. When he was feeling better, we surprised him with a birthday cake. Ray, Henry and I, along with two of Jack’s aunts, walked into his room carrying the cake with lighted candles. We all sang ‘Happy Birthday to you” and rolled in the brand new red wagon that he’d always wanted.
Finally, the day came that we could close the windows in his room and heat up his room. We got him out of bed and up on his feet. We helped him stand up but he was too weak to walk. Each day I would help him out of bed and walk with him around the room. It wasn’t long before he was running all around the apartment. The day came that we all celebrated when Jack was able to go outside!! What a joy to see him pulling his red wagon up and down the street. The workmen building the school across the street asked him if he’d like to load some of the pieces of wood laying all over the construction site into his wagon, and bring it home for firewood for our stove. Jack was so proud when he wheeled the wagon into our apartment and put all the wood into our coal bin.”