Drawing on Your Ancestors’ Resilience Can Help You Get Through Tough Times – MyHeritage May 13, 2020

I saw this on MyHeritage today – Drawing on Your Ancestors’ Resilience Can Help You Get Through Tough Times: https://blog.myheritage.com/2020/05/drawing-on-your-ancestors-resilience-can-help-you-get-through-tough-times/. Over 2,000 words long in the link.

 by Talya May 13, 2020 Historical Records

Many have drawn the parallel between what we are going through today and the Spanish Flu of 1918. Thankfully, we’ve had 100 years of progress in science and medicine to better prepare us to deal with a pandemic of this magnitude, and we’re unlikely to see the kind of devastation caused by the Spanish Flu.

That said, there is so much we can learn from the way people who survived the Spanish Flu and other crises coped with their challenging circumstances. Our ancestors survived pandemics, wars, famines, and natural disasters — who better to look to for guidance during times of trouble?

Below are some of the ways our ancestors coped with the Spanish Flu and other difficult circumstances — lessons we can apply to the challenges we are facing today.

The healing power of food

For many of us, good food is the ultimate comfort. We prepare food for others to nurture and care for them, and eating good food makes us feel nurtured and cared for, too. Many people in quarantine are using their extra time at home to reconnect with their domestic sides and try their hands at baking and cooking.

But back in the early 20th century, food preparation was more of a necessity than a pastime — and people who lived with scarcity were forced to be creative if they wanted to prepare their usual comfort foods. One popular invention during the Great Depression was a chocolate cake known as “crazy cake” or Depression cake. It involved minimal use of ingredients such as butter, milk, eggs, and sugar, which were a luxury for many during that period. Inventive housewives also created concoctions such as mock apple pie (using crackers soaked in a sweet syrup to stand in for apples) and mock fish cakes (using potatoes).

–snip–

 

 

Today, we see a similar phenomenon: an overabundance of aging fruit languishing on the counter has led to a huge resurgence in popularity of homemade banana bread. Sourdough baking has also seen a comeback, partly because it’s harder to acquire fresh baked goods due to disrupted supply chains and closures, and partly because people have more availability to engage in food preparation processes that may have been too involved or time-consuming for their previous busy schedules.
Aside from ingenuity and improvisation, another thing we can learn from our ancestors’ Depression-era baking adventures is how hard they tried to maintain a sense of normalcy, and to enjoy life, even during the hardest times.

Wash your hands!

In the early 20th century, germ theory was a relatively new concept, and medical authorities were only just beginning to learn about the importance of hygiene in fighting disease. Antibiotics had yet to be discovered when the Spanish Flu broke out.

And yet, when we take a look back at newspaper clippings from that period, we find that the advice medical authorities gave still holds up today:

That said, there is so much we can learn from the way people who survived the Spanish Flu and other crises coped with their challenging circumstances. Our ancestors survived pandemics, wars, famines, and natural disasters — who better to look to for guidance during times of trouble?

 

–snip–

 

About Wichita Genealogist

Originally from Gulfport, Mississippi. Live in Wichita, Kansas now. I suffer Bipolar I, ultra-ultra rapid cycling, mixed episodes. Blog on a variety of topics - genealogy, DNA, mental health, among others. Let's collaborateDealspotr.com
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