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  • Writer's picturelauraquinnwrites

Pandemic: 365

“So, this time 10 years ago, I embarked on the wonderful journey that is Motherhood. As noted throughout, I’ve currently been researching what I hope to turn into a novel. Well, TODAY, inspired by ~ certain events ~ I wrote my first chapter!!! A birth of a different kind, but no less a labor of love.”

That was my actual journal entry from 3/12/20.

It was my son’s 10th birthday. A Thursday. The day before my corner of the world came to a grinding halt. I had off from work and spent most of the day shopping- for birthday presents, not toilet paper I assure you. To celebrate those double digits, we got him his own laptop, not knowing at the time just how much he'd need the device in the weeks to come.

What a year it’s been since then, huh?

No, this post isn’t going to be 365 excerpts from my diary. Consider yourself saved from that snooze fest.

However, I am particularly amused at my entry from a year ago today.

3/19/20 (Day 6) “Homeschooling going surprisingly well.”

Ha! That was the first and only time I wrote that.

Two weeks, they said. Little did we know...

Or did we?

John M. Barry certainly did. His book, The Great Influenza, was first published back in 2004 and warned of future outbreaks.

Extensively researched, Barry provides a thorough account of 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic in frightening detail from start to deadly finish .

When I first started plotting my novel, which takes place during the Great War, I knew I'd be remiss not to mention the illness at some point in the work. Not a major story arc, per se, but definitely not something I could simply gloss over or omit. At least, that was my intent in the fall of 2019.

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I'd be living through a pandemic of unprecedented proportions myself. Times had changed over the last century, with new advances in medicine every day. This couldn't be happening.

But, as we all know, it is happening; touching all of our lives in one way or another.

"Death doesn't discriminate between the sinners and the saints. It takes and it takes and it takes." ~ Lin-Manuel Miranda

Our household was stricken with the coronavirus during the holiday season and, thankfully, made it through relatively unscathed. Many, too many, cannot say the same.

Those interested in exploring the parallels between the Spanish Flu to COVID-19 may want to listen to this interview Barry gave to the New Yorker on 3/25/20.

I don't have a medical background, or even a history degree, so I won't throw statistics at you. I am, however, a wife and mother who is still both horrified and heartbroken by many of the events of 2020, and it's those raw emotions that I hope to convey through the narrative.

Set partially in Philadelphia, you'll follow my characters during the fall out from the 4th Liberty Loan parade that took place on 9/28/1918. How will your favorites fare?

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Mar 19, 2021

Thank you, Jo! Yes, there were times when I was reading that I had stop and pinch myself. A little too close for comfort, if you know what I mean. I'm glad you find the character spotlights intriguing so far.


Mar 19, 2021

The parallels between the two pandemics are very interesting and soon I will be reading more about them. Right now the reality of this one is still too raw to start down that path. I'm getting more and more anxious to read your book, Laura. Your character development is terrific. It's going to be one of those books that makes you feel like you have made great new friends. Can't wait!

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