Gene Notes

Some random and some not-so-random thoughts on family history.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

COVID-19 vs Spanish Influenza

As far as I know, I have only one relative who died during the Spanish Influenza pandemic during the first World War. That person was George Zimmeth, who apparently died from Typhoid fever after drinking contaminated water from a well. George was born in 1881 and died October 13, 1918, while his brother, my grandfather, was serving in France during WWI. Grandpa did not find out till much later that George had passed. George was 31.

George left a wife, Julia Blust Zimmeth and four children: Leo (age 11): Rose (age 7, just shy of her 8th birthday); and Barbara (under 10 months.) Eight children pre-deceased George, and the youngest, Barbara would die of diphtheria in 1921. Julia Blust Zimmeth passed in December of 1925, leaving Leo, Rose and Mary, who were 18, 15 and 12, respectively.  

I try to put historical context with my genealogy, and certainly this family suffered during the pandemic, although I've never seen any reference to them having influenza during the pandemic. Losing their father must have been very difficult during a very difficult time.

Which brings us to the here and now. We've been fortunate to not be afflicted with COVID-19 in my family probably due to the abundance of caution. Hubby and I have not been motoring around the US in our motorhome, we wear masks and keep public contact to a minimum. Our daughters are also extremely careful. If and when we put this behind us, I'll add something to the database about it, but am not willing at this time to push my luck and add stuff. 

In recording your family history, are you adding historical context? Is it part of genealogy? Only you can decide what you include and what you don't, but hopefully we won't have to live through anything like this again, so that historical context could become important. 

Copyright 2010-2020, ACK for Gene Notes

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