The past weeks since the outbreak of COVID-19 have been strange for me.
I’ve written a WWI/Pandemic Flu of 1918 novel which isn’t published yet.
And I did extensive research on this particular pandemic flu outbreak for the story.
So, many of the headlines and breaking news stories this last two weeks have eerily reminded me of New York City newspaper headlines in 1918.
Then, as now, cities and states set up and enforced quarantines, people wore masks, places of business shut down. My story is set in New York City. The city had a Health Department fairly proactive for the time. My main character, Kitty, is a student nurse at Bellevue Hospital.
However, other cities, such as Philadelphia, chose to ignore the early warnings about this influenza and didn’t cancel a WWI war bonds parade. 200,000 people attended that parade, and a week later, 4,500 people in Philadelphia were dead.
Here is a chapter epigraph from my book:
Spanish influenza on ship reaching US. French vessel held at quarantine has several cases among its 471 passengers.
The New York Evening World, September 4, 1918
On a more positive note, we have much more information about viruses now. We enjoy the benefit of up to date medical information. Ventilators, IV fluids, and oxygen are a few of the medical supplies available to us that the population didn’t have in 1918. We have state-of-the-art labs and research facilities and almost instantaneous communication abilities.
Hopefully, with “social distancing” practiced now, we can avoid the terrible toll that the Pandemic Flu of 1918 wreaked on the world in 2020.
Time to pray and trust God.