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Lecture

Lecture Note


Department
History
Course Code
HIS263Y1
Professor
Heidi Bohaker

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HIS263 Feb 8
Post-war Upheaval
Influenza, 1918
When the troops starting coming home after the armistice in November of 1918,
Canada and the world is gripped by a pandemic Influenza: at the time called the
Spanish Flu
Its global development came in three basic phases
Phase One: began in summer of 1918 and hits Europe, West Africa and some parts
of Asia
Phase Two: much deadlier phase that began in August of 1918 and continued
through the late fall and emerged in North America by the late summer
Phase Three: It was dying down by the end of summer 1919
It spread across Canada in the fall of 1918
The numbers are not clear but it is probable that between 30-60 thousand people
died in Canada
At one level, microbes now very few social divisions and so it hits people of wide
social positions and spreads to all parts of Canada likely through troop trains
Infection touched all social classes, but death occurred only in some places
There is no vaccine, so there is no cure
The best thing to do is to provide basic nursing care
This means that the effects of this disease are not equal
Health care know social positions and thus the death rate depended on the kind of
person you were
There were social, racial, geographical differences
Rural people, poor, immigrants and Aboriginals suffered the worst
The most important questions about the disease and the response to the disease
were more social and biological
Most of the standard nursing techniques did not work too well
Quarantine did not work because the disease moved far too quickly
Public gatherings were limited but the disease overwhelmed the public health
infrastructures
Volunteer efforts were key to combating influenza because doctors were incredibly
susceptible and fell sick easily
Ontario issued the Ontario Emergency Volunteer Health Auxiliary to train people
all across the province to help patients who have come down with influenza
This fit the broader pattern of women being on the front lines to battle this
pandemic
The Sisters of Service presented great help and women in high social positions lead
the volunteer efforts
The Emergency Diet Kitchen in Winnipeg was led by the wife of a former Attorney
General of Manitoba
Class and ethnicity divides the response to the call for volunteers
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