I had a feeling I should ring my cousin Beverly. When she answered the phone I find out she is just out of hospital after cancer surgery. I never disregard those feelings, even if they are wrong. Most of the time they are right. Our mothers were first cousins but they always regarded themselves as sisters. I now know why. Beverly's mother's father died from the Spanish Flu. He was very fit, having won an Olympic medal, but it cut him down and my grandparents took over the care of the children whilst her grandmother found work. So they were brought up as siblings.
I also kept an old photo of a group standing by the Parramatta river. This was my Paternal grandmother's sister and her children.
Her husband served in WW1. Both died of Spanish Flu.
My father's father died at about the same time from other causes leaving the women with little income and lots of children.
Many young women died in this outbreak. My grandmother told me that the feeling back then was that it was their duty to step up and put themselves in danger by visiting the sick and taking on the nursing of others, even if it meant they died. The young men had laid down their lives in WW1, now their country needed them. The young men were remembered, the young women have been forgotten. It was the women, across generations, pulling together as a family that got my family through these tough times. In fact it is my generation who reaped the benefits of their hard work and dedication. I pray that it goes better for our health workers in this pandemic.