COVID 19 and King Tut
2020 is not the year any of us expected. Toilet paper companies are cashing in on fearmongering. Conspiracy theories run rampant. Parts of the US are shutting down for a second time as other parts of the world are carefully opening back up. Definitely not the world I looked toward on December 31.
That said, let’s roll back the calendar a hundred years and see what history has taught us. We’re going to look at it a little differently than you might expect. I think by now most of us are familiar with the Spanish Flu and the loss of 50 million lives due to the last pandemic. If you haven’t heard of it, Google it.
This blog isn’t going to give all the statistics. Enough people more capable than I have reviewed the stats of how this pandemic is similar to the last, including the same preventive measures, including requiring hand washing and practicing social distancing. Just ensure you check out valid sites. With misinformation what it is these days, we should all be doing our homework not once, not twice, but thrice! (grin) I’m actually not kidding though. So much can be learned from history, if we're not afraid to look. Here, I'll get you started. I'll even tell you it's now referred to more accurately as an H1N1 influenza A virus.
Since I am current researching my next book (We'll keep the title a secret for now!), I’ve had my own peek at this part in time. That would, of course, imply that something related to the Jamie Poole franchise takes place in and around the 1918 pandemic. But no, it’s not about the pandemic, and half the book was written last year prior to all this. It’s all a coincidence. But as with all coincidences, when you’re writing about history, this has to be touched upon.
I ran across a BBC documentary which is well worth watching if you have Tutmania. What is Tutmania? It is the obsession with everything related to King Tut. If you remember, King Tut was one of the most significant archaeological finds of the 20th Century.
In the documentary, they explain much about King Tut and a project to meticulously colorize much of the footage of the original King Tut discovery and the original photographs documenting the items found with the boy king.
Howard Carter is the archaeologist who discovered King Tut in 1922. Lord Carnarvon was his financial backer.
What may not be known is that Howard Carter was in Egypt looking for something of importance many years before this. Then World War I came along in 1914. The war was fought in Europe. It was also fought in Egypt and neighboring areas, including the Suez Canal. The forces that fought against the Germans and Turks in Egypt were the Anzac forces. Howard Carter was forced to pause in his quest. Google this, if you like. If you’ve been paying attention to Jamie Poole’s diaries, you may find a hint of what this book may include. You might see more than a hint because if you’ve paid attention, you can probably guess the frame of a plot. But we’re sticking to the facts for now. Jamie Poole, like Howard Carter, was impacted by events in World War I. Only for Howard Carter, that meant that the area he was working in was suddenly full of warriors from New Zealand and Australia fighting against locals. Pictures in this blog are pulled from the documentary.
As the war came to an end and those who survived the war returned home, what was known as the Spanish Flu struck, thus further delaying Howard Carter’s efforts. However, and now I trust you’ve done your homework on that pandemic, Howard Carter returned to Egypt and made that fateful discovery of “wonderful things.”
And because people worldwide experienced such a tragic pandemic the world was ripe for good news. Egypt responded by embracing their newly found king and Tutmania and Egyptomania exploded. Wealthy people from Britain and elsewhere were excited to travel to Egypt in hopes of catching a glimpse of the treasures Carter extracted from the tomb.
While many of us can rhyme off the dates of World War I, the discovery of Tut’s tomb, and we may know who Howard Carter is, I think most of us would not see the connection between these events or connect them with a global pandemic. I wonder what discovery or new “mania” may be found as we emerge from this pandemic.
Wherever you find yourself in the world, stay safe. Be kind. Help your neighbor. Be the change you want to see in the world. We are in unprecedented times. And, if you so choose, read a book. Drop us a line if you have any questions about this or anything related to Jamie Poole.