This has happened before
March 24, 2020
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Firenze (Florence) Italy. Image by Daniel Wanke from Pixabay
A careful observer who escaped the plague at Florence in 1617 describes the barricaded houses and empty streets, forbidden to all but food suppliers. Florence was dead: no business activities and no religious services — except for the odd mass which the officiant celebrated at the corner of a street and in which the people participated from behind closed windows.
-Fernand Braudel, Structures of Everyday Life © 1979 Librairie Armand Colin, Paris for the original French edition. English version © 1981 Harper & Row