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The 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic

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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. )

Copyright © | Year Posted 2018




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Date: 1/28/2021 8:59:00 AM
Tom, Wow... so full, so sad and so revelatory. Such a timely piece for our current world predicament. Beautifully written and so full of emotion. So very sad. An important piece of writing and communication by you for all ! Thank you for this. Susan :)
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 1/28/2021 10:34:00 AM
Thank you very much Susan, I never dreamed that two years after I wrote it, the world would see a similar pandemic. There doesn't seem to be an end in sight either. Tom
Date: 1/21/2021 10:54:00 AM
A brilliant piece, Tom, I am glad they put your name behind it before translating it for their own use, and rightfully so that you should be acknowledged for this fine piece of work . . .
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 1/21/2021 11:04:00 AM
Thank you very much Indiana, never thought I'd see one, I never mind anyone using my poems as long as they credit me for it. Glad you enjoyed it. Tom
Date: 1/19/2021 1:25:00 PM
Very well done Tom! You describe the scenes we are seeing today! A terrible tragedy! we have entire families in ICU sometimes and it is terrible even for stout hearted doctors! Best thing- stay safe and stay well!!
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 1/19/2021 1:39:00 PM
Thank you very much Krish, as covid was starting to take hold I could see what was coming and it gave me quite a chill, never thought id experience what id researched a couple of years before. You still retiring in March? Tom
Date: 1/10/2021 7:22:00 PM
Tom, you did a GREAT job on this vividly descriptive, chilling poem, point-by point so much like 2020-2o21! Janice
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 1/10/2021 8:41:00 PM
Thank you very much Janice, once it left China I could see what was happening and I was telling my kids to prepare, of course they thought I was overreacting. Sadly I was right, things are still bad over here. I hope you are well. Tom
Date: 1/10/2021 3:27:00 AM
WOW.. Seems you must have had a grim premonition. So sad and so like what we're experiencing today- God bless you dear friend.
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 1/10/2021 3:56:00 AM
Thank you very much Regina, Before writing this poem I read quite a lot about it and had an idea what was coming, a shame those in power didn't do the same because if they had they'd have had a better idea on how to handle it. Tom
Date: 12/18/2020 9:04:00 AM
Tom, How Heroes are made reflected in a time of great need. Now recorded in a poem, a message long over due. -Richard
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 12/18/2020 9:10:00 AM
Thank you very much Richard, never thought for a minute that I'd see one in my lifetime. Hope you're well, enjoy your weekend and hope you have a lovely Christmas and a happy new year. Tom
Date: 11/27/2020 3:48:00 PM
I can relate to your poem Tom, on a very personal level. My great-uncle, whom my father and I are named after, died at 26 in the spring of the 1918 flu; the it came back and in October killed his sister, my great-aunt Julia. I often think of them, especially lately.
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 11/27/2020 3:55:00 PM
Thank you very much L. J. I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your relatives, when I was researching about the Spanish flu I couldn't believe how many lost their lives to it and never thought for a minute I'd live to see a pandemic like it. We've had two waves of covid 19 and already experts are predicting a third wave. I hope they're wrong. Tom
Date: 11/15/2020 12:01:00 PM
Another great work. Nobody has let the cat out of the bag excepts a few relevant MDs ...the numbers that died were not from the vurya as we think, but from pneumonia. Here we are again. In close quarters headed for death not from a virus, the numbers are a farce and fear rules, it's disgusting, we are all lied to. I get nobody will believe me, fear rules, Pangie. My aunt and uncle dies in their teens. With pneumonia you ca not be near people.....Pangie
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 11/15/2020 1:16:00 PM
What is it with governments, they're going completely the wrong way about it. They never learn from the past Tom
Date: 11/13/2020 9:09:00 AM
This is an excellent poem, Tom. Thanks for the history reminder. We didn't want history to repeat itself, but here we are. Stay safe, dear poet.
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 11/13/2020 10:45:00 AM
Thank you very much Carol, I never believed for a minute that I'd live through one, thankfully this pandemic, so far is not as severe as the Spanish flu, but of course there has been many fatalities. Enjoy your weekend Tom
Date: 10/29/2020 3:10:00 PM
I appreciate your poem and hope that it will effectively provoke people to become more interested in the history of the Spanish Flu. My great grandfather and his daughter died too young, sadly, because of the pandemic. Thanks for writing such a nice, although sad, poem.
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 10/29/2020 3:51:00 PM
Thank you very much Laura, sorry to hear that about your grandfather and his daughter. After researching about it I never dreamed that there would be another pandemic like it. The second wave of the Spanish flu turned out to be more deadly than the first one and there was a third wave but by that time people had built up immunity so didn't cause so many deaths. Tom
Date: 7/30/2020 12:19:00 PM
Well said! My mother was the only one in her family to escape. Of course, cholera, diphtheria, smallpox, polio, rheumatic fever et al quickly impacted weakened systems, yet 100-years later, mankind has still not learnt they are not alone in this world and their welfare depends upon social responsibility! Aloha! Rico
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Rico Leffanta
Date: 7/31/2020 2:37:00 PM
What Trump teaches us is, "Find someone to blame". With that kind of leadership, the human race will stay in the pits! Aloha! Rico
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 7/30/2020 12:40:00 PM
Thank you Rico, it was a devastating virus, didnt matter how old or fit you were. I read that trucks used to drive around each day to pick up those that had perished in the night Can't believe governments havent learnt lessons from the past. Tom
Date: 6/2/2020 3:49:00 PM
Sadly brilliant my friend! Millions died, history repeats itself! Trump the moron! We're not done yet... this will be here for a while yet, unfortunately! :(
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 6/2/2020 4:21:00 PM
Thanks Jack, I do think it's too soon to lift restrictions, I feel the virus is just waiting in the wings to strike again. Tom
Date: 5/29/2020 7:46:00 PM
Hello Tom … history repeating itself a hundred years on, and this covid has not finished its deadly march yet either - thank you Tom - Lindsay
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 5/29/2020 8:16:00 PM
Thank you Lindsay, after researching for this poem I could see what was coming and told my kids to stock up a bit, they thought I was joking. Our government didn't help by lockdowning too late and now they want to lift restrictions, we're still getting infections and have the highest death rate per capita in the world. Our pm is a total idiot. Tom
Date: 4/6/2020 12:06:00 PM
I remember my grandmother speaking about it. She stated how everyone was terrified. How they had to stay indoors and avoid others. A hundred years later we find we are doing it all over again. Stay safe, David
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 4/6/2020 3:15:00 PM
Thank you David, When I was researching about The Spanish flu, I couldn't belive how many people died worldwide, over 50 million. I never in a million years thought that I'd live through a pandemic like we are now. Regards and hope you stay safe too. Tom
Date: 2/18/2018 9:42:00 PM
Another great historical write! Nice work, Tom!
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 2/19/2018 3:58:00 AM
Thanks Kim, I couldn't believe the millions that died in this pandemic. Tom
Date: 1/20/2018 11:43:00 PM
What a tragic epidemic, I don't remember my Grandparents ever talking about it when they were living but they were both alive at the time having been born in 1905; just grateful they had survived! A well done interesting historical write Tom!~Che :)
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 1/21/2018 1:08:00 AM
Thanks Cheryl. Even today I'd never heard of it until Rhoda on here mentioned it to me, and back then news was in a letter or heard on a street corner.It was death on a huge scale and I hope we never see the like again. Regards Tom.
Date: 1/20/2018 5:18:00 PM
Wow Tom you opened my eyes to a tragic story i've never heard before. I hope we never see anything on this scale again - our friend is sick with the first case of Australian flu on our Island:-( hugs jan xx
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 1/20/2018 5:50:00 PM
Jan, I must be honest,I hadn't either but Rhoda asked if id do a poem and read up on it, the millions that died is unbelievable. Flu is a real killer. I hope your friend makes a speedy recovery. Regards Tom
Date: 1/9/2018 8:37:00 AM
Spanish flu even claimed the lives of poor mountaineers who barely kept their families fed.
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 1/9/2018 9:03:00 AM
I know, it didn't matter if you were fit and healthy. Nobody was safe.
Date: 1/5/2018 7:05:00 PM
I was reading Rhoda's poem and I read your comment. I thought I would find the piece interesting and I am not disappointed. You put a lot of thought into this piece and we are the benefactors.
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 1/5/2018 9:26:00 PM
Thank you very much Richard. It was such a tragic story that affected mankind, and the sheer scale of the fatalities is hard to comprehend.How those poor folk must have suffered. Happy new year. Regards Tom.
Date: 1/5/2018 6:22:00 PM
Tom...Thank you sooooo much. This is fabulous! What a tragic piece of history preserved in your words. About ten years ago I was able to talk to a 98 year old woman (RIP, Helen) that remembered living in New York City as a child and watching, from her upstairs bedroom window, bodies of her classmates being carried out of their homes and laid out on the sidewalks as there was no room in morgues and burying the dead was overwhelming. Her eyes still teared up as she was telling the story. Sad.
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 7/6/2020 5:24:00 PM
Of course you can Rhoda
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Rhoda Tripp
Date: 1/8/2018 7:31:00 AM
Isn't it just amazing that this piece of history, as tragic as it was seems to have been missed by so many? It killed more than any war, yet so forgotten. Would you mind, Tom, if I post this poem on my page as well and give you the credit for the works? It should be shared and awareness made know.
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 1/5/2018 10:00:00 PM
Rhoda, I just couldn't believe it when I was researching it, millions dying from it all over the world. Scientists are concerned a strain of bird flu H5N1 could mutate into something similar. Frightening. There was a little rhyme that children used to skip to that keeps going around in my head. I had a bird it's name was Enza, I opened the window and in- flu-enza. People used to get taken ill in the morning, get worse as the day went on and be dead by nightfall. And that lady you spoke to, to see those terrible scenes of her friends being taken away must have stayed with her all her life.what worries me is the crackpots in the world releasing some virus that would be the end of mankind. That said, despite all tragedies that affect the human race, mankind always seems to bounce back. Happy new year. Regards Tom.
Date: 1/5/2018 1:02:00 AM
Wow excellent poem ????
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Rhoda Tripp
Date: 1/5/2018 6:24:00 PM
Lisa. True story and a piece of little known history. Google "Spanish flu pandemic". It is terrifying.
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Tom Cunningham
Date: 1/5/2018 1:23:00 AM
Thank you Lisa, glad you enjoyed it. Regards Tom.