[Vwoolf] FW: NYTimes: Why Are There Almost No Memorials to the Flu of 1918?

mhussey at verizon.net mhussey at verizon.net
Thu May 14 15:32:11 EDT 2020

I sent this only to Ellen accidentally earlier, but now I see it is trending I thought I’d resend to the list…


From: mhussey at verizon.net <mhussey at verizon.net> 
Sent: Thursday, May 14, 2020 9:17 AM
To: 'Ellen Moody' <ellen.moody at gmail.com>
Subject: RE: [Vwoolf] NYTimes: Why Are There Almost No Memorials to the Flu of 1918?


The NY Times has been running occasional obituaries of people in NYC who have died from Covid-19, people whose names would not ordinarily appear in that newspaper. Perhaps a Covid quilt, or a ‘Portraits of Grief’ as was made after 9/11 would become a counterpoint those in the USA who love “freedom” so much they will risk others’ lives a for a haircut!


From: Vwoolf <vwoolf-bounces at lists.osu.edu <mailto:vwoolf-bounces at lists.osu.edu> > On Behalf Of Ellen Moody via Vwoolf
Sent: Thursday, May 14, 2020 7:31 AM
To: Kllevenback <kllevenback at att.net <mailto:kllevenback at att.net> >
Cc: eoutka at richmond.edu <mailto:eoutka at richmond.edu> ; vwoolf at lists.osu.edu <mailto:vwoolf at lists.osu.edu> ; Jane E Fisher <fisher at canisius.edu <mailto:fisher at canisius.edu> >
Subject: Re: [Vwoolf] NYTimes: Why Are There Almost No Memorials to the Flu of 1918?


One of things I've noticed is how little commemoration or memorials there have been of who has died in this pandemic. During wars we get a plethora of lists of who died; remember how Cronkite used to have a list of who died today in Vietnam.  Judy Woodruff on PBS does that.  I saw one ceremony in Spain and it was broken up by authorities as defying the quarantine.


The only place I have seen this is on PBS: every three or so nights, Judy Woodruff remembers three or four people. She is careful to include ordinary non-heroes, non high ranking people; indeed most of her portraits are of non-famous people.  She has a photo of the person, tells the story of their occupation, a little of their life (as told by the family) and then family and friends. The loss is not just to the person dead but to those whom this person meant a lot to in their lives. I've thought one reason for this silence is there are no general statistics put out by any central authority telling the names and a little about the people who died today. No central sources. 

People do not like to talk of sickness, illness and then real deaths from sickness. Perhaps Susan Sontag deals with this on her book on illness as a metaphor.




On Thu, May 14, 2020 at 6:34 AM Kllevenback via Vwoolf <vwoolf at lists.osu.edu <mailto:vwoolf at lists.osu.edu> > wrote:

My first instinct was to send this to Jane and Elizabeth—but then I reconsidered.

Stay safe, be well—
Karen Levenback

Why Are There Almost No Memorials to the Flu of 1918?

Sent from my iPad

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