100-year-old letter found in Central California offers hope during COVID-19 outbreak

MERCED, Calif. -- In the North Valley, a 100-year-old letter is providing some hope for the future when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jill Cunningham is the Associate Vice President of External Relations at Merced College.

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Her family recently came across a letter from when one of her relatives attended Le Grand High School.

It's dated January 30, 1920, and it describes the school board's decision to cancel classes due to the "influenza epidemic."

The letter explains that teachers will be providing "correspondence work," which is similar to what's now called remote learning.

It also mentions a version of "social distancing," with students only being allowed to visit their teacher one at a time.

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"It was so fascinating to read this because this is my high school," Cunningham said. "I'm an alumna of Le Grand High School and these are my relatives, and to see that we've been through it, the world has been done this before, the world has taken drastic measures before, and we've come through it, and perhaps come through it with better people."

Cunningham's family has been in Le Grand for four generations.

She says the letter feels as though history is repeating itself, but she hopes it also provides a sense of reassurance about our ability to overcome challenging times.



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