This is the time of year for head colds, allergies, and the flu. I should know. Even though I have been feeling much better for several days, I still have a residual cough and the sniffles. As O'cockers say, I've been doasted right.
Earlier this month a reader asked about the impact the Influenza Epidemic of 1918-1919 had on Ocracoke. There is no one alive on the island who remembers when the pandemic swept across the world. However, some older folks remember a few stories. It seems that Ocracoke fared better than many places. Nevertheless, several people living on the island contracted the flu, but we don't know how many, if any, died from it. For example, my grandparents' thirteenth child, Aliph Dean, died in October of 1918. She was not even one month old. We do not know the cause of death.
Also, a few islanders who had moved to Philadelphia and other northern port cities came down with this particularly virulent flu that killed between 50 and 100 million people worldwide.
This 2012 season of colds and allergies on Ocracoke has been annoying, but mild compared to 1918-1919. Let's hope it doesn't get any worse!
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of the Civil War on the Outer Banks, Josephus Daniels, Jr, Secretary of the Navy during WWI, and his connection to Ocracoke. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news022112.htm.