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In nineteen eighteen there was an outbreak of flu
Caused little concern, only affected a few
But it returned with a vengeance later that year
And the world over it caused widespread fear.
First reported in Spain, and around the world spread
When it was over, fifty million people were dead
Hospitals were stretched and they struggled to cope
For both young and old, there wasn't much hope.
It affected the lungs and caused skin to turn blue
Only comfort was given it was all they could do
In effect it caused people to suffocate
And continued to spread at an alarming rate.
People advised to avoid crowds and to wear masks
They struggled to perform even basic daily tasks
Remote areas in the world were affected too
By this airborne killer virus, the great Spanish flu.
Effort's were made to slow down this disease
But slowly and surely it brought the world to its knees
Shops opening times were staggered all over the lands
People strongly advised not to shake hands.
Undertakers were struggling to cope with demands
Families' buried loved ones with their own hands
Healthy men and women and children too
Were all falling victim to the great Spanish flu.
Because of World War One, doctors were few
And those that were available, many fell sick too
Temporary hospital's set up in schools or church hall
With many brave volunteers answering the call.
They closed many schools, services were hit too
With workers struck down by this merciless flu
Late nineteen nineteen the virus reached its peak
Immunity grew stronger but it still struck the weak.
Sadly mankind had suffered and paid a great cost
To the great Spanish flu with millions of lives lost
The pandemic was now over, survivors started to thrive
But were mournful of the millions who did not survive.
Written 4th April 2018.
( Dedicated to the fifty million people who died
in the Spanish flu pandemic in the years 1918 to 1919. )
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