To the editor:
In 1957, there was the Asian flu pandemic. The Asian flu swept the world and killed more than one million people, and it especially targeted children. I remember getting sick with this flu (which is the H2N2 virus), when I was 7 years old.
I got sick around Thanksgiving and don’t really remember much else until I came out of it to go back to school four months later. It was horrible for my mother. This pandemic killed at least two million people worldwide. The doctor said the hospital was dangerous for me and he made house calls. My brothers and sisters apparently had it, but their symptoms were much milder. My mother had me sleep with her, because I was too thin and weak to walk to the bathroom. I think she was afraid I would die during the night. But God spared me and I slowly recovered.
Although they weren’t tested, I believe both of my sons had the coronavirus. My son in Minneapolis was very sick for a month, but the doctor thought he would do better at home, as Minneapolis was hit hard at that time. He has since recovered. The calls I made every day to the kids and the anguish I felt was overwhelming. Now I understand what my mother went through.
My heart goes out to all who are affected by the disease, and now especially to those who have no income and are unable to buy food, some for the first time in their lives.
Our local service organizations have been stretched thin to be able to stay afloat and to achieve their missions of serving those in need. You see United Way a lot in the news lately, and we have been working hard to help service organizations and match volunteers and goods to help those in need.
Our community is very generous, and we have also been able to tap into grants to help out. Because of United Way, more than $73,000 has been raised through federal and business grants and many donations. A very sincere thank you to all who have donated to our COVID-19 Relief Fund, and volunteered for so many organizations in our community. We are still taking donations at https://unitedwaylvco.org/
We will get through this, but it’s going to be a long haul for a lot of people and businesses. If you or someone you know needs help, please call 2-1-1 to be directed to services provided in Leavenworth County. God bless.
Nancy Bauder is the executive director of the United Way of Leavenworth County.