Saturday, January 19, 2013

A Pandemic of Sensational Flu Headlines

My video promo (first try) for Threshold Girl. A couple of months ago I discovered that my laptop had Corel Video Suite inside of it... and so I made this video and put in on YouTube.

At Christmas I got a new Canon Camera (my old one was purchased in 2006) so now I can really make good videos.

But where's my creative energy?

Maybe it's the flu..well, all this talk of flu. It's really tiresome.

Flu season came early apparently and so now the news media has exhausted all its sensational headlines about the flu and overcrowded emergency rooms and potential dangerous strains and possible epidemics.

They've got to get people's attention somehow.

Now, I have perspective. Threshold Girl, an ebook now available on Amazon Kindle, is about a family in the 1910 era, and based on real letters. It is the story of a middle class family that was wracked with financial anxiety and seemed to project this anxiety onto fears of the sniffles and colds and the flu.

Back then, if these letters are any example, middle class people were obsessed with colds, flu and Grippe. That's because a healthy person  could catch a cold one day and die the next week. It happened sometimes.

No antibiotics. Pneumonia was called the King of Death.

So they took lots of cold medicines, most laced with opiates, so that made it all fun.

There are 300 letters in the stash from 1908 and 1913 and I'm guessing, more of them mention the flu, la grippe or a cold, than do not.  And for some reason, a lot of people in 1912 in the community of Richmond Quebec were dying.

They even had a cure for it, over and above the narcotics: "The Fresh Air  Cure." Go outside into the fresh air even in the cold winter.

A Not Very Sensational CBC Headline. Hardly worth stating, I'd say.

It makes me wonder, if we are getting more flu than before (and I somehow doubt it as in 'COULD BE") maybe it's because NO ONE goes outside anymore. My husband walks the dog every day, no matter what the weather and he hasn't been sick this year, although many at work are sick. There's another reason: people are afraid to stay home from work, lest they get made redundant.

And then there's the letters from 1918-19 which I am working on right now for another book. The War Years, the Spanish Flu.  That was serious.

A letter from Margaret to her daughter with a prescription for medicine.. 1918. Aha, she was even more worried for her daughters that year.... In 1917 her 3 year old granddaughter gets ill and has to be tended night and day for a week. Perhaps the flu, it isn't said.

Oh, I did meet someone, fairly young, who said she had got a serious case of the flu and had to stay in the hospital for some days. She was a nurse..