Monday, December 28, 2015

In the Grip of the Grip

Most have heard about the Spanish flu pandemic which ravaged the world in 1918 and 1919, causing the deaths of more people than the Great War (World War I) or the Black Death in the 14th century. Three years before the great pandemic, at the end of 1915, Hudson was experiencing an epidemic of a different strain of influenza, called simply "the grip." During the days between Christmas and New Year's Day, in the Hudson Evening Register column "Personal Notes and Jottings," reports of people suffering from the grip shared space with news of holiday visits.

An article on the front page of the Hudson Evening Register for December 29, 1915, reported that in the week that ended on December 25, the number of deaths from influenza in New York was five times greater than it had been during the same week the previous year (1914) and twice what it had been the previous week. The same article cautioned that there was no remedy for the grip: "all that was left for the patient to do was to suffer and bear it."

The Hudson Evening Register for December 30, 1915, printed this advice for staying healthy in the crisis, offered by Dr. Paul V. Winslow, "sanitary supervisor of this district."


1 comment:

  1. Heretofore, I have only known it as "grippe", probably from an overdose of 19th century novels. Remember to get your grip shots, everybody!