Already Seen

March 26, 2007


Déjà vu is French for, literally, “already seen.” Well, that certainly resonates around here, doesn’t it? I’ve been reading the news with my coffee, as is my wont on mornings such as this. I do not want to get into the pathology of the novel cornavirus, because I have absolutely no expertise and nothing to add. However, the news out of Italy got my attention. Words used to describe the nationwide situation include “quarantined” and “shut down.” Upon closer reading, there are loopholes. I suppose there have to be. People can go to work if they must, and they can leave their homes for “emergencies.” A number of shops remain open, but hours for all businesses are severely curtailed, particularly evenings. Tourism, it would appear, has all but vanished. I said I didn’t want to discuss the disease prompting all this, because I have nothing to add. However, I have had the privilege of visiting Italy, and such a state of affairs is hard to imagine. It is such a vivacious and convivial culture, a culture of which the Italian people are justifiably proud and one appreciated by many millions of non-Italian visitors every year. The economic impact will be very harsh. I hope the Italians accomplish what they intend, and things get back to normal soon. The modern world is watching, to be sure. This is something it’s never seen.


16 thoughts on “Already Seen”

  1. Having had my April 4th marathon cancelled due to lack of entries, I entered the March 29th Columbus 12-Hour event to support the Killed In Action. Then came the news that OSU has suspended classes to at least March 30th and students are to use virtual classes. I asked the organizer if this will affect this event and she said at this point, they are still on. I would probably bring my own water, Gatorade and food, so the chances of disease would probably be minimal. Since no roads will be closed for the event, I might go down there anyway even if they make the race “virtual”.

    I too try not to speak about the virus as it seems like others have strong opinions. I have been very fortunate as to not have had a cold (or if I did it was pretty mild) over the last two years and in general have been in good health. I realize not everyone is in my same condition.

  2. It is no light thing but the non-C19 Flu has killed more people in the last year.

    “The modern world is watching, to be sure. This is something it’s never seen.”
    The modern world (if you count the last 120 years) has seen it. 1917/18 the Spanish Flu
    killed 50 million people world wide. In some places more than 25% of the population.
    There was a News Blackout because of WWI so there was no reporting of all the deaths.
    The close confinement of troops contributed to the spread of the disease.
    Also there were non of the modern antibiotics to combat secondary infection.

  3. The word balloon in the last panel is interesting: the text characters are drawn quite differently from usual. Hypothesis: this was a last-minute substitution of text different from the original. I don’t really believe it, but I’d love to know what it was originally if that notion is correct.

  4. One reason for the concern about COVID-19 is the death rate. I’m obviously not even close to being an expert – and as Old Bear says, it depends on whose figures you use. But if you want to use the Spanish Flu as an example of a *proper* deadly pandemic, well, I’ve seen numbers from more than one source that claim a COVID-19 death rate as the same 1% – 4% of confirmed cases, very much higher than the flu’s death rate. That’s with modern medicine, knowledge, and the potential, at least, of informing the populace about it. We don’t have another Sedition Act in place (yet)….

  5. On the radio today, I heard a comment that the Italians are normally an ebullient society, and often cutting in lines and otherwise disdainful of rules, but in this situation, they are being amazingly compliant with the national quarantine. The virus toll in that relatively little country is almost unbelievable, so I guess I’d be scared, too.

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