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influenza pandemic of 1918, intergenerational relations, nursing history, Spanish Flu, World War I



  1. Johnson, Deborah BA, RN


ABSTRACT: In the spring of 1918, a virus swept across the world, killing approximately 50 million people by the summer of 1919. My grandmother, Kathryn ("Katie") Ann Darmody-an Irish immigrant who settled in New York State in 1904-was among the nurses who responded to this pandemic, which became known as the 1918 influenza pandemic (or, erroneously, the Spanish flu). Today, as the world contends with the COVID-19 pandemic, my grandmother's experiences resonate with new meaning-a reminder of how, then as now, nurses have been at the forefront of public health. Her story, transmitted across generations, is one I now share with a new generation of nurses.