Whilst the UK Government’s scientists were initially telling us those with a pre-existing condition were more likely to die from the virus, statistics are showing us a different outcome a year into Covid-19.
Anyone can die from the virus, it’s not just the elderly, infirm, or anyone with a pre-existing condition. My thoughts now turn to the 1957 Asian Flu pandemic.
The 1957 Asian flu pandemic was first identified in East Asia in February 1957 which subsequently spread worldwide. The flu pandemic was the second biggest influenza pandemic to happen in the 20th century. It preceded the 1968 flu pandemic and followed the influenza pandemic of 1918-19.
The outbreak caused an estimated one to two million deaths worldwide. My aunt died in that pandemic. It’s hard to imagine what she must have gone through. What I know is that she’d just got married and was 6 weeks’ home when she died of Asian flu.
I would have liked to have met my aunt. Very little stories were told about her. All I know is that six weeks into her marriage, 5 years before I was born, she died of Asian Flu in the late 1950’s. We share the same middle name Estelle, and I use that as my author name.
I knew she had asthma, and that she died of Flu, but what I didn’t know until now, was that she died in the 1957 Asian Flu pandemic. She was 26 years old. Now, living through a pandemic myself, what I know has become even more important and poignant for me. It was a last-minute decision for me to publish under my author name of ‘Ilana Estelle.’
I wish I had have known more about my aunt and her life, but I am happy we share the same middle name and that through my writing, her name lives on.
Unless we learn from our mistakes and take on board our lessons, future generations may struggle to live successful lives.
Whilst scientists are telling us our lifestyles are to blame for Covid-19, it is important we take heed and listen. And while another pandemic may not affect all of us depending on how old we are, those not yet born, or are young enough to live through another pandemic, will be affected.
It has to be time for us to pull back, rethink and change before it’s too late. We need to be more selfless, so that we start to protect the natural world, and ourselves.