The Asian Flu Pandemic

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.

14 May, 2021

4 thoughts on “The Asian Flu Pandemic

  1. Well, that was truly sad that she died 6 weeks after getting married. Right now the danger isn’t so much from Covid-19 but from the variants that are popping up because viruses do tend to mutate over time.

    The biggest problem that I see right now, is places like India where they don’t seem too concerned about getting people vaccinated rapidly.

    This will be a prime breeding ground for variants, but they don’t seem to get it at all. People don’t really believe that it exists, I think, because it’s one of those invisible issues, like mental health issues, so they aren’t taking it very seriously.

    Unfortunately by the time they do, it may end up being too late. God help us all.

    1. Thanks Randy, that’s kind. Yes, my grandmother never really got over her death. ‘Right now the danger isn’t so much from Covid-19 but from the variants that are popping up because viruses do tend to mutate over time’ – I agree with you.

      Covid-19 is not something you can see, so for many it’s hard to equate that it even exists, until we turn on the news and hear about even more deaths.

      But until Governments change their thinking on how they tackle the virus and they all work together, there will be more casualties and more deaths. As long as we’re not able to eradicate the source of the virus, mutations will always crop up.

      It’s a world virus, that in itself makes it impossible to fight. Vaccines alone, won’t make it go away. The more we interact the more at risk we become.

  2. Worryingly in the UK we have just entered phase 3 of the lockdown easing, which means we can eat inside restaurants and go inside peoples houses.

    I believe this is a mistake and it will only serve to speed up the spread of the new variants and likely lead to the reintroduction of measures.

    Your aunt’s story is very sad, but I am sure she is happy that you have her middle name and also that you use that as your writing last name.

    She will be especially proud to see how you are helping others too out of your own traumatic experiences.

    1. Thank you. Yes, I know my aunt knows and I couldn’t be happier about that. Turning to the virus yet again! I think you’re right.

      Even if the UK government were to tell us otherwise, it feels like it’s the economy and politics versus the people. One person’s death to Covid-19 is one too many. Too many people have already died in the UK, with many more falling foul to the virus.

      No one is safe until we’re all safe and right now we’re not safe.

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