At the Lake of the Woods Museum, Braden Murray has been busy looking into the similarities -- as well as the differences -- between how Kenora dealt with the Spanish Flu a hundred years ago and what's been taking place over the last year with COVID-19.
"Between October 1918 and March 1919, there were were locally 66 people who had passed away from the Spanish Flu, whereas locally, (now), obviously people have been quite sick and a person has passed away from COVID-19, but that's certainly quite a big difference," he said, during a recent interview.
Murray is the Museum Educator for Lake of the Woods Museum, which is linked to the Douglas Family Art Centre under the MUSE umbrella.
Another important difference, Murray continues, is how the community has dealt with lockdowns and quarantines. A century ago, a placard was placed in front of houses -- where a case of the flu had been detected -- and those in the home weren't allowed out for any reason, until it was deemed safe.
"It was effective," he said, as he passed along what he'd learned from his research.
"It was a bit harsh, certainly. If somebody in a house got sick, essentially anyone who was living in that house there would be placards, there would be signs essentially put on the front of the house and the back of the house at the doors basically saying there's someone who is sick here, and no one can go in our out," Murray continued.
A hundred years ago, Murray noted one in three Kenora residents contracted the virus, leading to 66 deaths. Fortunately, to date, the numbers for the Kenora area have been much lower with 78 possible cases in the Kenora region and only one death reported in the health unit's catchment area.
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