Does this sound familiar? Overcrowded facilities intensified the dire results of a rapidly-spreading pandemic while an external political situation limited the government’s effective response. In addition, shortages of medical personnel, hospital beds, and equipment made the situation substantially worse. The incidence of the disease and its death toll diverged markedly from area to area and created a climate of fear that threatened to break the society apart. This is not a description of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic but of one that started more than a century earlier — the flu epidemic of 1918 to 1920 that killed an estimated 50 to 100 million people worldwide. Our text will be John M. Barry’s The Great Influenza (Penguin Books: 2005) which led President George W. Bush to set up the Pandemic Disease Task Force. In his words, “If we wait for a pandemic to appear, it will be too late to prepare. And one day many lives could be needlessly lost because we failed to act today.” Please join us to again prove George Santayana’s dictum that “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. No class on 11/26/20.