Writing about the effect the Spanish Flu had on the population of Seattle in his 2013 historical novel Song of Willow Frost, author Jamie Ford focused on one young woman whose father and brothers dies as a result of the 1918-19 pandemic sweeping the city. Or rather, who died because of her father's careless behaviour on one occasion.
Ford wrote: "Liu Song remembered that her father had been a pragmatic man. He always made sure he and his family wore their gauze masks. But he'd been stricken with fever and began coughing up blood two days after the Armistice celebration, when thousands of drunken revelers had taken to the streets without protection. Her brother died two weeks later...leaving her alone with her widowed mother, grieving in a city overflowing with bodies."
What Jamie Ford wrote in 2013 about a super-spreader event at the end of the First World War eerily mirrors scenes now taking place on beaches in California and Vancouver, and in front of government buildings in Edmonton and Calgary during a pandemic in 2020.
As the old saying goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same.