Photo from CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Most local families have stories of grandparents, uncles, aunts or some other loved ones that perished in the great epidemic of 1918 – 1919. The number of deaths was estimated to be at least 50 million worldwide with about 675,000 occurring in the United States. It was often called “Spanish Flu” in those days. It was first identified in military personnel in spring 1918 and is believed to have come to the United States by our returning World War 1 soldiers. It was the most severe pandemic in U.S. history. The following is an excellent overview of the pandemic:
Here are just 2 of many stories that affected our area:
The first story from the Oct. 25, 1918 Sodus Record tells the story of Neal Johnson who has recently joined the military and preparing to go “Over There”. He is fortunate and survives the flu:
The next story unfortunately ends in tragedy.
Photo courtesy of Sodus Point Volunteer Fire Department