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The present coronavirus pandemic has led many individuals to share tales they heard through the years concerning the Spanish Flu pandemic that swept the globe in 1918. An estimated 500 million individuals caught that flu, with someplace between 17 million and 100 million dying. Every of these deaths represents a singular human life; and, a kind of distinctive tales is instructed within the following letter that was written greater than 100 years in the past.
Ella Pleasure Maybin of Calgary was given this letter by family members a long time in the past; it was written by a lady — Mrs. C.W. Parke — who was attempting to nurse Ella Pleasure’s grandmother again to well being. The grandmother — Marcia Ella Bull Parsons — was a thirtysomething mom of 4 youngsters on the time and had caught the Spanish Flu. “She took the illness in its worst type proper from the beginning,” Mrs. Parke wrote to Marcia Ella’s mom again in Toronto. “Nothing ever made her really feel the intense weariness this illness had.”
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Marcia Ella and her husband had turn out to be stalwart members of the Pink Deer neighborhood. Marcia Ella was a graduate nurse from the College of Toronto and her husband, Dr. Richard Parsons, began the Parsons Clinic that operated in that central Alberta metropolis for 109 years. Because the Pink Deer Categorical notes, Dr. Parsons carried out one of many first gall bladder operations within the province, after staying up all night time and studying concerning the process to assist a affected person.
Sadly, Marcia Ella succumbed to the Spanish flu, however Mrs. Parke wrote that she hopes Marcia Ella’s mom (Sara Bull) discovered consolation in figuring out extra about her daughter’s closing days. “I even have misplaced a daughter and know what this can imply to you,” Mrs. Parke wrote within the letter penned in Pink Deer in 1918. The letter tells of a scarcity of nurses, that means many ladies and ladies would volunteer to take a seat on the bedside of sufferers and supply no matter consolation they may. Mrs. Parke herself got here down with the flu due to her volunteer efforts, however recovered.
Mrs. Parke shares a number of tales from Marcia Ella’s closing days within the letter. She tells of considered one of Marcia Ella’s daughters dashing into the bed room to offer her mom a kiss good night time, although the kids have been stored aside from their mom due to the illness. One other daughter got here down with a fever herself, however didn’t inform Mrs. Parke as a result of she didn’t wish to disturb her unwell mom.
“They confirmed that that they had a super mom and he or she was so anxious about them, and hoped God wouldn’t take her away from them,” Mrs. Parke wrote. When she was awake, Marcia Ella learn scripture and recited poetry she’d identified all through her life. “She had a nicely saved literary thoughts.”
Mrs. Parke additionally defined that the pandemic led to a scarcity of nurses, that means many ladies and ladies would volunteer to take a seat on the bedside of sufferers and supply no matter consolation they may. The letter author herself got here down with the flu due to her volunteer efforts, however recovered.
The letter offers a glimpse into the lifetime of victims of the Spanish Flu, says Ella Pleasure Maybin, who’s now sharing the letter about her grandmother with readers of Postmedia Calgary. “It’s all taking place now,” she provides, referencing the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here’s a copy of that letter from Dec. 2, 1918: