Thursday, April 30, 2009

I'm Not Saying "I Told You So,' But....

All this about the swine flu makes me hark back to a post last year about a little historical novel called At the Sign of the Sugared Plum. That book dramatized the responses of 17th-century Londoners to the outbreak of the black death. It's interesting to watch the responses of 21st-century Americans to swine flu in comparison...they had their medicinal poseys, we have our surgical masks. They smoked tobacco incessantly in an effort to ward off the illness; we wash obsessively with antibacterial wipes. They closed down the city of London (once the "people of quality" were out of town); we're talking about closing borders. Human nature doesn't change -- another excellent reason to read historical fiction!

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