Alanna Mitchell’s story on the Spanish Flu (“Outbreak,” September/october) finally cleared up a mystery for me. Apparently, some people wore cotton bags around their necks filled with camphor, believing it would ward off the virus. My grandmother, who would have been 20 years old in 1918, made me wear a camphor bag when I was a child, claiming it would keep me from getting sick. I took some teasing over it at school and figured it was something she’d thought up on her own. Now I realize she’d probably heard about it during the influenza pandemic.
Jil Mcintosh Oshawa, Ont.