One for the history books

An emergency hospital at Camp Funston, Kansas, cared for large numbers of soldiers sickened by the 1918 flu. Photo from National Museum of Health and Medicine, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, DC.

The world hasn’t seen a pandemic like this one in 100 years. With luck, in a year or two life will be back to normal and the memories of what it was like will begin to fade. That’s why many are suggesting we keep a diary.

Dutchess County is going one step further and soliciting residents to fill out a survey (here). According to the introduction, “If you pass up the opportunity to create a record, you are depriving future generations of valuable information.” The survey includes questions like, “What is the worst thing about this? Are there any “silver linings” in what has happened (spending more time with family, catching up on tasks around the house, reading, doing projects, etc.)?” and “It is the year 2050 and another pandemic is looming – what would you want someone to know about the 2020 pandemic?”


If you’re interested in reading more about the 1918 flu, we have a couple recent articles. In one, we present a collection of contemporaneous reporting from local papers centering on the pandemic’s effect here in the Hudson Valley. In another, we analyze why the 1918 flu killed so many.

Both articles are for subscribers only. If you’re not yet a subscriber, sign up today.