Backtalk

Letters to the Editor





"The Return of the Spanish Lady" is a fascinating account of the influenza pandemic of 1918 and how that disaster touched Memphis.

However, one substantial error appears in the story when it is stated, "... but nobody could even decide if the flu -- if that's even what it was -- was caused by a bacteria (which might respond to the proper antibiotic) or a virus (which wouldn't).

" There were no antibiotics in 1918.  The first true antibiotic, penicillin, was not discovered until 1929 and it was not introduced into therapy until the early days of World War II.  Even the bacteriostatic sulfa drugs were not available until the late 1930s. There were no effective therapeutic options to consider in treating the Spanish Flu.

~ Emmett S. Manley, Jr., Ph.D.

Lakeland, Tennessee

I picked up your November issue of Memphis magazine as I checked out of the Madison Hotel earlier this morning. Your article on Tamarindo, Costa Rica, was particularly interesting to read, as I also stayed at Sueno del Mar in January 2005 -- coincidentally also enjoying the same "Gecko" room you were in! That was one of the best two-week trips that I have experienced, staying all over Guanacaste Province, up to the lush scenery of Arenal, and even a couple of days in Granada, Nicaragua.

I just wanted to offer your readers a geography correction to the direction that your friends, Brian and Ali, were headed at the end of your visit. If they were indeed heading to Nicaragua, they would be heading north and not south, unless Panama was an acceptable second choice! For those interested in traveling north, from Costa Rica to Nicaragua, a word of advice: Give yourself plenty of time to cross the border, and keep your belongings close to you -- it's one of the busiest border crossings in Central America! It is worth the effort, as Granada, being one of the oldest Spanish colonial towns in all of the Americas, is also a hidden gem! More quiet and less developed in comparison to Tamarindo and much of Costa Rica, but beautiful and charming in its own right.

~ Mark Dunnill

Toronto, Canada

I'm really loving the "new" Memphis magazine, and your November issue was particularly well done. I've had the good fortune to have traveled to all four of your featured destinations, so this issue brought back some great memories for me.

And I especially enjoyed the story on Costa Rica. As someone who often travels solo, I can appreciate how [the writer] felt when she first arrived at a new and foreign destination alone. I've felt the same sense of accomplishment that comes from making new friends and exploring new places with them.

Keep up the great work, and I'll keep reading.

~ Angela Williams

Southaven, Mississippi

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