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March - April 1968 Page 09


Ahhh, memories....

This Memory Lane has nothing to do with Scouting but when
John mentioned the flu epidemic in the first paragraph, I had
completely forgotten about my bout with the flu that year until
now. Both boys and girls were affected in January of 1968. We
were sophomores and I was one of the many who became sick.

School continued but classes were getting smaller and smaller. The
infirmary couldn't hold us all so parts of the dormitories were
designated areas for the students afflicted with the flu.

Food was delivered in carts to the rooms for the "patients" by other
students who in turn got sick with the flu for delivering the food, of
which I was one that was asked to perform this "task" during the
second weekend of the epidemic. After I made the deliveries one
of the dietitians gave me a quarter and thanked me for helping out.

Yeah, right.

I woke up in the middle of that night feeling real bad, went
to the front desk of Hoffmeyer Hall and found Mr. Plemmons on
the night watch. He took my temperature and took me straight
to the infirmary. I stayed in the infirmary for at least 3 days and
there were other schoolmates there but the only one I remember
was Classmate Brenda Davis who came in a day later.

I do remember the nurses checking our temperatures a couple
of times a day, giving us plenty of fluids...mostly orange juice
and water.

Nowadays, if something like this was to happen again, us "volunteers"
would be wearing gowns, masks, medical booties/shoe covers,
surgical caps, latex gloves just to enter the quarantined areas.

Doing some additional research, I found that the flu pandemic of
1967-68 is also compared with the flu pandemics of
1918-19 and 1957-58 when the fatality rates was
compared with the current H1N1 flu crisis.

As a public service, if you are interested in learning more
about influenza, I have found a resource page full of website
links, faqs, definitions, and other useful links:
Health and Human Services

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This page was last updated on 03/23/2011.


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