What We Can Learn From 1918 Influenza Diaries
When Dorman B.E. Kent, a historian and businessman from Montpelier, Vermont, contracted influenza in fall 1918, he chronicled his symptoms in vivid detail. Writing in his journal, the 42-year-old described waking up with a “high fever,” “an awful headache” and a stomach bug.
“Tried to get Dr. Watson in the morning but he couldn’t come,” Kent added. Instead, the physician advised his patient to place greased cloths and a hot water bottle around his throat and chest.
“Took a seidlitz powder”—similar to Alka-Seltzer—“about 10:00 and threw it up soon so then took two tablespoons of castor oil,” Kent wrote. “Then the movements began and I spent a good part of the time at the seat.”