Spanish Flu

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Canada’s Challenges in the 1920s

After World War 1, the treaty of Versailles helped reorganize the world with a new international system. Canadian soldiers returned to Canada with pride and newfound respect expecting to return to ordinary civilian life, however they were confronted with tension and several immediate post-war challenges before the glamorous era of the “roaring twenties”. Following World War 1, Canada was affected by the many challenges they faced, such as the Spanish flu, the Winnipeg General Strike, and Alcohol prohibition.

Throughout history, disease and epidemic has taken countless lives. After World War 1, soldiers returning home had spread a new flu virus, known as the Spanish flu. The Spanish Flu brought extreme emotional distress to Canada. Many cheerful soldiers returned home stricken with grief to find their family members dying from this disease. The soldiers, as well as other citizens were overwhelmed by the Flu’s disruption in society. Hospitals were flooded with sick victims, streets were quiet, and everyone wore masks. The flu spread rapidly worldwide and far exceeded the death tolls from the war. The Spanish Flu distinguished itself from other influenza strains because it was virulent to young adults in their 20s to 30s. Subsequently, many children became orphaned. The disease also caused many families to struggle financially because they had lost the family’s money provider. The Spanish Flu also transformed Canada’s healthcare system. During the 1920s the government had no specific department to handle health issues. Therefore, the Agriculture department handled quarantine, and the government handled the flu’s media exposure. Eventually as a result of the Spanish flu, the Department of Health was formed in 1919, and was responsible for health issues. Lastly, the Spanish Flu contributed to Canada’s troubled economy. Businesses lost considerable amounts of money due to the government closing them down, and businesses also lost...
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