Daisy Mildred Sykes

Pandemic Influenza Storybook

Storyteller: Daisy Mildred Sykes

Location: Virginia

Illustration of metal spoons

In 1918, my father was 15 years old and my mother was 10 years old during the pandemic. They lived in Finney Hollow in Russell County, Virginia. They told me that at that time, people would make home remedies to help those who had fallen ill with the pandemic flu. One remedy was a cough syrup made from boiled and strained cherry tree bark that was sweetened and may have had a little white lightening (moonshine) added in. The other was a liniment ointment, warmed and applied to the chest, which was made of hog lard, kerosene, camphor and perhaps other ingredients.