17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Sunday, April 22, 1912: I now have that wonderful oration the way it suits me. I finished copying it this morning. Jimmie started back to school today. So far I don’t have any symptoms of the whooping cough. Don’t want it for two weeks yet.
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Grandma was working on a speech that she needed to present on the last day of school. On April 16, she wrote that she was trying to find a topic; and, of the 17th she wrote that she’d found an interesting topic.
I’m surprised that Grandma’s 6-year-old brother Jimmie had apparently been out of school for almost a month with whooping cough. On March 24 she’d written:
Jimmie threatened with the whooping cough. I don’t want him to get it, nor do I want to get it myself. I would have to stop school if I do, and that I shouldn’t like to.
But, Grandma never again mentioned whooping cough, so until this entry I’d assumed that Jimmie hadn’t gotten it.
Whooping cough was a bad illness a hundred years ago. According to Wikipedia:
Symptoms are initially mild, and then develop into severe coughing fits, which produce the namesake high-pitched ‘whoop’ sound in infected babies and children when they inhale air after coughing. The coughing stage lasts for approximately six weeks before subsiding.
So even though Jimmie was out of school for a month—it’s sounds as if he recuperated more quickly than the typical person.