The earliest frontline healthcare workers in Trail, dated 1912. From left to right: Dr. Thom, Nurse Struthers, Dr. Coghlin, Nurse Teen Thom, and an unidentified nurse. (Photo courtesy the Trail Historical Society collection/Trail Museum and Archives)(Trail Historical Society)

A glimpse of the Silver City during the 1918 pandemic

City hotels - the Central, Aldridge and Montana - were set up as hospitals during the 1918 pandemic

The 1918 pandemic, also called the Spanish Flu (H1N1 virus), swept across the globe between 1918 and 1920.

Following is an excerpt from 100 Years of Trail History, taken from the Trail Times Nov. 15, 1918 story Flu Epidemic Still Serious in Trail.

“While there have not been as many new cases of influenza developing in the last week, a number are found almost every day, and Dr. Thom estimates the total of cases since the outbreak at around 600 in Trail.

To date there have been 37 deaths from the epidemic in Trail, and two from other causes.

Conditions are still exceedingly serious in the city, the three hospitals – Central, Aldridge and Montana – giving the doctor, nurses and attendants plenty of work.

In addition, many bad cases have been found in the past week in private homes, and the fatalities in numerous instances have occurred because patients did not follow doctor’s orders and go to bed as soon as they were afflicted, and thereby give those in charge a fair chance to look after them.

Drs. Nay and Thom (see attached photo Dr. Thom on the left) have been very busy every minute of the 24 hours in each day, trying to save lives, while James Williamson, chairmen of the health and safety committee of city council, continues his work each day and night using his car in taking nurses all over the city, helping sick ones to the hospitals, and the thousand and one things that come up for attention in such an epidemic …

More volunteers have come forward and are doing magnificent work in relieving others who have been overtaxed with long hours.

But still, others are required, both men and women. Those able and willing, please phone 143.”

Read more: Trail’s pioneer medical leaders

Read more: The latest on coronavirus

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