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Coronavirus News And Resources
Coronavirus and COVID-19 News & Resources

W.Va. Woman Recounts Family's Survival Of Spanish Flu

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Donna Graham
Donna Graham's family in spring, 1955. Parren and Nell Cowger are in the back with their six grandchildren.

Just over 100 years ago, West Virginia faced the Spanish Flu, which is thought to be one of the world’s deadliest pandemics in modern history. Records indicate 50 million people died worldwide, and nearly 3,000 of those were West Virginians. 

And while researchers have been hesitant to compare the Spanish Flu with the current pandemic, there have been some grim similarities. The Centers for Disease Control estimates well over 100,000 people have died worldwide from coronavirus.  

Donna Graham in Kanawha County, West Virginia, shared with us her family’s story from the Spanish Flu. Her grandfather contracted the flu and the entire household had to quarantine. In Graham’s audio postcard she draws parallels between her family’s experience and the COVID-19 pandemic, and the importance to hold onto hope.

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