Day 28 – a few things you may not know about the 1918 pandemic 


I swear I’m going to have twenty incomplete/half-edited poems because after working for several hours on a poem about new research suggests COVID-19 seems to be affecting more than just lungs, including attacking the heart; I suddenly started spewing forth ideas from a couple of articles I’d read about the flu pandemic of 1918-19 (often erroneously or unfairly called Spanish flu). It’s almost like I’ve got to write for a while on one topic before I can let the right one out.

Anyway, he’s a wee trip back in time that might shed some light on both the present & the future …



humanity has been learning
to live with a new disease — new to us
which in itself is nothing new

the one everyone keeps
harping on about is the H1N1
influenza outbreak of 1918–19

three waves washed round
the world infecting 500 million
then killing between a tenth & a fifth

the end arrived only when immunity
was conferred — transforming
H1N1 from pandemic to endemic

then it hung round for 40 —
— more — years — as a seasonal virus
though at much less severe levels

despite all our efforts
it didn’t disappear till 1957
when a new pandemic H2N2

eradicated almost the entire
H1N1 — one flu virus strain
somehow supplanting another

& the scariest part?
— scientists  don’t  really
know  how  it  did  it