As a depressed writer, I’ve been preparing for this Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic my whole life:

     self-quarantined, socially isolated and filled with anxiety!

I lose about half of every month, laid-low by a lack of motivation and desire to stay indoors. The rest of the world calls it “lock-down”, I call it a normal two weeks. 

Depression isn’t sadness, but I’m sad that my friends and family are tasting the bitter fruit I've dined on for years. And it’s disheartening to see the fear and panic on people’s faces as we stand 6 feet apart, yelling to each other from across the street without hugs. A handshake is now assault.

I’ve always been fascinated by the Spanish Flu and the Epidemic of 1918. For about two years during my late teens, I lived out of my car and traveled the country. Homeless. My mother had sold our home the day I graduated from high school before she moved to Ethiopia. I discovered that cops harassed me wherever I slept except for one place: a graveyard. People think you are grieving and tend to leave you alone. Grief is a powerful social barrier.

Wandering graveyards in every little town, I was shocked to discover countless headstones of children who died in 1918.  Entire families wiped out in a single year. Making my way westward through graveyards, I followed the epidemic: Erie, Pennsylvania. Wooster, Ohio. Crawford, Indiana. Carbondale, Illinois. Lebanon, Missouri. Junction City, Kansas. And lastly Pueblo, Colorado, where my car contracted a fatal illness and died.

I first heard about the Spanish Flu in Junction City from an old man at a diner who shared his apple pie with me. Told me that right down the road at Fort Riley was the birth place of that great pandemic in 1918. Recently, researchers have discovered the real place of origin: China.

Almost exactly 102 years ago, in March of 1918, a flu spread out in Camp Funston at Fort Riley army base supposedly contracted from Haskell County farmers. However, in November of 1917, Dr. Wu first identified a type of pneumonic plague that was killing patients in Shaanxi province, China, which is located directly north of guess where?  Wuhan of Hubei province.

Dr. Li Wenliang first sounded the Coronavirus alarm in December of 2019. Dr. Wu did the same in November of 1917. In January 2020, the virus traveled by plane via a 30 year-old man who carried it  from Wuhan to Seattle. In 1918, the virus literally took the slow-boat from China. 100,000 Chinese civilian laborers were headed to the front lines in Western Europe to dig trenches in World War I. They disembarked from the boat and took a train across the United States, passing directly though Garden City train station in Kansas, located just north of Haskell County.  

Well, it's just a theory but I'm going with it because Spain doesn't deserve the blame.  

The Spanish Flu was only named so because Spain, neutral during WWI, was the first to report the disease whereas the rest of Europe and the United States prohibited the media from reporting it for fear of losing young male recruits much needed in the war effort. Instead, the Spanish Flu should have been named Wuhan I and the current Coronavirus should be named Wuhan II.  

Or maybe we shouldn’t give a place name for these re-occurring viruses. Giving a geographic epicenter only leads to racial and nationalistic blame. We have to realize that we are all connected. There are no borders. A man coughing in China ends up as headstones littered across small towns not just in America, but throughout the entire world.