Illustration: Toby Morris
Illustration: Toby Morris

SocietyDecember 16, 2021

The Side Eye’s Two New Zealands: Ella remembers the Spanish flu

Illustration: Toby Morris
Illustration: Toby Morris

The Side Eye meets Ella Wilson, 107, one of the few living New Zealanders who remembers the influenza pandemic of 1918.

This year The Side Eye’s Two New Zealands series has focused on disparities – the ways the experience of living in this country can differ if you’re rich or you’re poor, urban or rural, if you’re a tenant or a landlord, for example. We’ve looked at how your experience might differ if you’re Māori moving through the health system, or how different your paycheck might look depending on your gender or ethnicity.

One of the differences we had on the list since the beginning was young vs old. While we’ve talked a lot about older people throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve heard from them less often. Wouldn’t someone who has lived through pandemics, wars, earthquakes and global depressions have some perspective to offer? Well, meet Ella.

The Side Eye is a monthly non-fiction comic by Toby Morris, supported by NZ On Air. Read the rest of the series here.

Mad Chapman, Editor
Aotearoa continues to adapt to a new reality and The Spinoff is right there, sorting fact from fiction to bring you the latest updates and biggest stories. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

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