Feeling overwhelmed - the 1918 flu pandemic

Two women describing their experience of the 1918 influenza pandemic.


[Woman speaking] It just got so that if you wanted help - if you didn't feel so well - you opened your window and you put a white rag out the window and you unlocked you front door and left a white rag on the handle of the door you see so that anybody could come in and when these people who were going around on motorbikes in cars saw them you see they got out to investigate because it was beyond, you couldn't deal with it. You just couldn't deal with it at all. It was beyond anything.

[Woman speaking] I lived in Wellington at the time and was working in a chemist shop. People started to pour in with prescriptions of all descriptions and people were collapsing on the road and being picked up and taken to hospital until the hospitals were full and then it began that we could hardly deal with them for the simple reason they came in so thick and fast. I gave prescriptions. I was working in the shop and the chemist was working flat out and the doctors finally put the prescription in the paper and so they copied it out and copied this and gave it in bulk form.

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