Finally, I finished The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History, learning dimensions of WWI history that Upstairs Downstairs and Downton Abbey left out.
Given, what J.M. Barrie reported about what led up to the Great Influenza, and all that followed, I can see why we’ve whitewashed the history, and settled for melodrama — that touched our hearts.
Maybe, if we had known more about the history we would have been less ready in 2020 to repeat the mantra, familiar in 1918: “It’s only influenza.” Perhaps had we known a bit more of our own history, we could have rejected some of the more outlandish claims so many Americans swallowed from the Internet.
Remember that quote about what happens to people who don’t know their past? (Does History Repeat Itself?)
My regret is not reading The Great influenza in March of 2020; it was written in 2004.
No, I started my audible adventures in our COVID-19 pandemic listening to Alice in Wonderland as I painted.
In a way I think that’s where I still am — Wonderland; for, so many I know believe differently about deaths from COVID-19, vaccinations, and facemarks that I feel like I’m at the Mad Hatter’s Tea parties, conversing with the Cheshire cat types, and trying to avoid upsetting the Queen of Hearts.
Maybe, it’s time to listen to Alice Through the Looking Glass. For:
″‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.’
‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’” Through the Looking Glass, chapter 6, p.205
So many things are not as they seemed — words really can mean so many different things– like “right.”
One friend summed up the sadness that invades so many days when she declared:
Instead of IT’S MY RIGHT — how about IT IS RIGHT to care about others!
To that end, the title came easily for a new take on an old subject: