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The Spanish Flu in Canada (1918-19 flu pandemic)

by Stellarjay


Question: How did the 1918-19 flu pandemic influence Canada immediately following the First World War? Consider the political, cultural, and economic impact as well as the effects on veterans returning from the war.

In your answer, compare and contrast how Canadians responded to the 1918-19 pandemic and Covid-19.

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The 1918-19 flu pandemic in Canada truly tested our ability to thrive and adapt. Not only on an economic and political level, but also on a day to day basis. Those two years were hard for Canada. Everyone around the world felt it’s impact, just as much as we are now. Both pandemics, the Spanish flu and Covid-19, have been and are testing our strength.

The same year the war ended in 1918, the Spanish flu began to spread. As the war veterans were finally coming back home, they unknowingly brought home the flu. Hospitals filled up fast, not only with sick patients but also with wounded soldiers. They were soon overflowing and had to use hotels and schools to accommodate for the onslaught of patients. Hospitals weren’t the only thing to be hit, the government shut down all non-essential businesses which resulted in businesses having to lay off workers or shut down completely. This also resulted in many people being unemployed and unable to pay for the bare necessities, like food or toothpaste. During this time over 50,000 Canadians died, many children found themselves orphans overnight. The hardest hit was on the veterans returning home.They came from a hard place into a hard place, with no break in between. Through them the pandemic spread like wildfire and even reached the remotest communities, including First Nations reserves.

The Spanish Flu pandemic is very much like Covid-19. In the 2000’s there has been an increased travel rate, thus the pandemic was able to spread extremely fast, just like the Spanish flu did. Yet it has not reached remote communities as much as you’d think. In fact places like Alaska and Greenland have only had a few cases. Yet in 1918 the flu was able to wipe out entire communities. This goes to show that our safety measures are much better than they were in 1918. In fact we have not had to use hotels or schools for overflow patients. This may be due to the fact that the Department of Health was created in 1919. Another aspect to the Covid-19 pandemic is the internet. Even though businesses are struggling right now, they have adapted to having their employees work from home. Something that Canadians didn’t have in 1918. One thing that was similar was the mandatory mask rule and all the protests that followed. The Spanish flu and Covid-19 pandemics were and still are hard times to live in.

In conclusion, 1918 was really hard for everyone around the world. Canadians struggled to survive and keep safe, just as they are now. Thankfully with increased safety measures and a deeper knowledge of viruses in general, the government knows how to keep us all safe. The Spanish flu was a terrible virus, but we learned, adapted and changed. Now in 2021 we are still learning and changing our ways for the better.

Sources cited:

Dickin Janice, Bailey Patricia, James-Abra Erin "1918 Spanish Flu in Canada" Canadian Encyclopedia. March 18, 2020. https://thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/1918-spanish-flu-in-canada

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This is for an award application, so critical reviews are greatly appreciated! Thanks ^-^


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Mon Mar 01, 2021 4:28 pm
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chikara wrote a review...



'Ello there!

I love a good informational piece; especially when it's about something I haven't researched a lot / know nothing about in general, so hopefully this will 1. teach me something new, 2. be put together in an organized way where I can clearly see the splits of ideas, and 3. follow the "rules" of essay writing that most people observe.

Let's check out your introduction:

The 1918-19 flu pandemic in Canada truly tested our ability to thrive and adapt.


This is attention-grabbing. It provides a "setting" of sorts for what the topic of this will be, but there is no general to specific shift here. I can take your first paragraph and change the names and dates, and then, it would still sound good.

How did they test strength? What exactly carried this from just Canada suffering to a worldwide issue? How was Canada before all of this occurred? There should be some background information to start out with.

There's also a thesis statement, which should have the primary focus when you write an essay. It covers what you would discuss in your paper and would be supported with evidence of it being correct or something to agree with. I can't pick out a sentence that would work as that in your first paragraph (or introduction.)

Now the body is evidence and your own ideas. It has the ordering of
chronological, spatial, and emphatic. The most narrative is chronological, spatial is for mainly locations, and emphatic is least important to most important.

In fact places like Alaska and Greenland have only had a few cases. Yet in 1918 the flu was able to wipe out entire communities.


The transition between this isn't great. Transition sentences are typically present to create a flow between your ideas to make them compatible, and if they aren't considered that, it might mess up how others perceive this.

Then we have the conclusion:

This should wrap up everything and restate your main idea (which is the similarity between Covid and the Spanish Flu.)

Last paragraph sort of restates everything, and wraps up everything nicely to me. It doesn't feel essay ending though, so maybe work on how professional / informational you want to be throughout all of this writing.

Oh and, cite your evidence!

Good job!

lum




Stellarjay says...


Thanks for the review, it was really helpful!



Stellarjay says...


Sources are cited now lol!



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Mon Mar 01, 2021 12:49 pm
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TheScribe wrote a review...



Hey, Stellarjay! This will be a grammar and content review :P

The 1918-19 flu pandemic in Canada truly tested our ability to thrive and adapt. Not only on an economic and political level, but also on a day to day basis. Those two years were hard for Canada. Everyone around the world felt it’s impact, just as much as we are now. Both pandemics, the Spanish flu and Covid-19, have been and are testing our strength.

The underlined portion is a sentence fragment. I would recommend combining the fragment with the previous sentence. The italicized portion is improperly used. "we are now" would not be the correct wording; rather, "we do now" or a variation thereof would be better to use. Here, I would suggest just amending the wording.

The same year the war ended in 1918, the Spanish flu began to spread.

Now, many readers will know that you are referring to the First World War (then called the Great War/The War to End All Wars), but it would be best to clarify this for less knowledgeable readers.

As the war veterans were finally coming back home, they unknowingly brought home the flu. Hospitals filled up fast, not only with sick patients but also with wounded soldiers.

"The" needs to be dropped. I would also recommend rewording the second system to say something like Hospitals, already full of sick and wounded soldiers, were in no state to deal with influenza.

Hospitals weren’t the only thing to be hit, the government shut down all non-essential businesses which resulted in businesses having to lay off workers or shut down completely.

The underlined portion needs to be amended with either a colon, a semicolon, or a period (thus starting a new sentence). Also, given that this is meant to be a formal essay, I would choose a phrase other than "to be hit."

This also resulted in many people being unemployed and unable to pay for the bare necessities, like food or toothpaste. During this time over 50,000 Canadians died, many children found themselves orphans overnight.

I would drop the "and" in the first sentence and replace it with a comma. A comma is needed after "during this time," and the word "and" is needed before "many" but after the preceding comma.

The hardest hit was on the veterans returning home.

"Was" needs to be "were" in the first sentence.

They came from a hard place into a hard place, with no break in between. Through them the pandemic spread like wildfire and even reached the remotest communities, including First Nations reserves.

These sentences need to be improved on a little bit-- I'd recommend saying something along the lines of War veterans had been between a rock and hard place, having had little to come home to after the war ended. Many were injured and unable to start work, and those that did start work still struggled to survive. None were able to evade influenza's wrath, including the First Nation.

In the 2000’s there has been an increased travel rate, thus the pandemic was able to spread extremely fast, just like the Spanish flu did.

You do not need the apostrophe in "2000s" (unless that's apart of Canadian grammar, in which case, oops ;-;). Also, I word word the second half of this sentence differently so as to say something like and thus, the virus was able to spread very quickly, just like the Spanish Flu.

In fact places like Alaska and Greenland have only had a few cases. Yet in 1918 the flu was able to wipe out entire communities. This goes to show that our safety measures are much better than they were in 1918. In fact we have not had to use hotels or schools for overflow patients. This may be due to the fact that the Department of Health was created in 1919.

After both "In fact" phrases, you need a comma. Also, you might want to consider dropping one of them so as to not appear redundant in your wording. Also, a comma is needed after "yet in 1918." I would also drop the the final sentence or outright claim that the work the Dept. of Health has done has helped Canada's virus efforts. Based on how it's worded, a reader might think that you're skeptical about the things the Dept. has done.

Another aspect to the Covid-19 pandemic is the internet. Even though businesses are struggling right now, they have adapted to having their employees work from home. Something that Canadians didn’t have in 1918. One thing that was similar was the mandatory mask rule and all the protests that followed. The Spanish flu and Covid-19 pandemics were and still are hard times to live in.

This needs to be a separate paragraph as it contrasts the two rather than look at their similarities. Also, it'd be better if you separated out the similarities and differences because putting like things with one another tends to help a person remember more of it and better than if it was all thrown together.

In conclusion, 1918 was really hard for everyone around the world. Canadians struggled to survive and keep safe, just as they are now. Thankfully with increased safety measures and a deeper knowledge of viruses in general, the government knows how to keep us all safe. The Spanish flu was a terrible virus, but we learned, adapted and changed. Now in 2021 we are still learning and changing our ways for the better.

I feel like the opening sentence to your conclusion could be more specific so as to help compare and contrast the economic, political, and public health crises that are ongoing worldwide. A comma is needed after "thankfully," and another comma is needed after "now in 2021."

Additional Details:
-It might be smart to include death statistics for Covid-19 and compare and contrast how deadly and infectious they were (e.g. # of people died per day, # of people were infected per day, etc)
-In 1919 and 2020, there were many different elections, but ultimately 2020 had more (specifically municipal and party elections). How might these have affected both pandemics?

Overall
I really liked this, but there's some work that needs to be done. I apologize if I was too harsh or something ;-;

Have a nice [*insert time of day here*]!!!




Stellarjay says...


Thanks for the review, it was really helpful! Just proves how much I need to improve on essay writing lol.




Perfection is lots of little things done well.
— Marco Pierre White