Analyzing things, it’s interesting to do from time to time, and with this current situation that we’re in, I thought I’d start looking at how the 1918 Spanish Flu effected the local area that I live, considering we’re told how devastating it was.
So I looked at the local history book for the town that was put together 10 years ago, and the official death rate for Temuka and the surrounding districts was 1%. In Temuka Township there was 17 deaths from a population at the time of 1700 people.
I don’t know about anyone else, though for me, that seemed low for a deadly pandemic, so I went on line and come across some official figures.
And when one begins reading, you see a death rate of 9.6, but then you realize that that is 9.6 out of a 1,000 people, so that isn’t 9.6% you’d automatically think, but 0.96%, which paints a different picture.
You could be analyzing this stuff for hours, but just go online, have a look, and and three things stick out for me.
The average death rate for the New Zealand population, excluding the Maori population and the military bases was just below 0.6%.
For the Maori Population the death rate was way higher and also higher death rate at the military bases, for it must be remembered that at the time, the general Maori Population standard of living was a lot less than the rest of the population.
And the soldiers were obviously receiving vaccines for going to war, so the statistics got me thinking, and if the soldiers had just got back, they wouldn’t have been in the best of health having been away.
So I took a walk down to the local cemetery, just to check out the headstones for that time. I was expecting them to be grouped in a certain area, hhmmm, no they weren’t, they were all over the place, and in my wanderings I found 7 that fit the time frame of late November 1918 to December 1918.
What was just as interesting was the deaths I came across leading into that time, September and October 1918, and if these people had died a couple of months later, they would have more than likely been attributed to flu deaths. Also there was a lot of deaths between 1890 – 1910.
Yeah, all interesting stuff, and after all that I’ve written, I’ll leave you on this question:
Would lower Immune Systems and Vaccines for soldiers contributed to increased death rates during the 1918 Spanish Flu Outbreak?