Day 10 of Lockdown and reflecting on what happened around 102 years ago in 1918, in Samoa, with the Flu epidemic/pandemic reaching the shores via a boat i.e. SS Talune from Auckland, New Zealand.
One of the reasons I wanted to write the story of my late great grandfather who died as a result of the epidemic, was that I wanted people to know about that devastating historical event that was almost forgotten and how it wreaked havoc upon Samoa for generations to come i.e. many families are not aware of some ancestral lines because of the missing information from that generation.
Now the numbers make more sense with Samoa losing around 10,000 people as the estimates that were given (illustration is shown of the information that was printed at the time) were believed to have been conservative saying that 20% of the population died as a result whereas I believe that it would have been more with a quarter of the population dying.
I was also in contact with a New Zealand journalist who lived in Samoa and believed it to be closer to one-third of the population. Now with the pandemic spreading from China and killing so many in Italy, Spain, USA and now making its way to the Southern hemisphere, we are reminded that even with the technological advancements in knowledge and medicine that this biological warfare has ended the lives of many but with still many more recovering that there is hope that a vaccine, antibodies or another cure/vaccine, etc. from those cured of the infection could help to save lives.
We are blessed to have information that now helps us to consider social distancing, isolation, staying in a bubble, washing hands with soap and water, keeping away from surfaces that could be harbouring the virus, testing for the virus, 2-metres distancing between people in queues etc. that my great grandfather’s generation didn’t have…