Another Time, Another Quarantine

During the year that my grandmother was in quarantine for possible tuberculosis, my grandfather was also in quarantine, but for him, it was not TB or the Spanish flu that put him out of service. Papa was “somewhere in England” in isolation with four other soldiers in his ward. A total of thirteen other soldiers were ill with German measles. That vaccine was not available for another forty years.

In a letter to his sister Ann in mid-June, he wrote that he would be in isolation for twenty-one days after having gotten sick a week earlier. He was not feeling ill, and it was apparently not a big concern to the doctors because my grandfather mentioned that they were bringing in a piano “for us to have a dance… The nurses here are great for dancing. They are very nice but are not in with the girls at home. There is only one girl for me, Ann, and she is in Boonton, and you tell her to stay there and wait for me.”

I hardly knew Papa, so reading this letter gave me an insight into his feelings towards my grandmother when they were engaged and they were separated by war. It’s rather sweet.

Just a page of his quarantine letter.- 6-17-1918


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