Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Extra! Superimposing the 1918 flu pandemic on today

Critic At Large

Things in our daily life that weren’t around then

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Imagine we are in 1918 in the midst of the global flu pandemic.

What do we have now in our daily life that would be absent back then?

Certainly, there would be no Internet.

No emails.

No Google.

No Amazon.

No Wikipedia.

No working from home.

There would be no television to entertain and inform us through dreary days of staying home and safe.

Widespread radio coverage as we know it was still a coming thing.

Our CDs or SoundClouds or whatever music source might be a Victrola record player or musical instrument or singing in the bathtub.

The telephone was around, but often people had to share the line, thus the phrase “party line.”

Supermarkets – Piggly Wiggly and the A&P – had just arrived, so stocking your shelves would be a challenge.

You might have owned a car or traveled by street car trolley.

Most likely, you walked to a corner store… if you lived in the city.

News came by a chock-full newspaper delivered to your door in the afternoon or found on store counters everywhere… or news boxes.

The telegraph was the instrument for sending news of the world to The Associated Press and United Press International.

It is likely your house was heated by coal.

Air conditioning? Forget it.

Our ancestors didn’t miss any of it because they didn’t have it.

Give or take a century, pandemics try to body and mind of humankind.

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