Pandemic – 1918 to 2020

April 14

My caregiver Danny Chang and I left Garden Crest April 1st to the Promenade because of a virus in Garden Crest. We had to stay there 14 days to determine if the coronavirus developed. On April 14, we were free of the virus.

Circumstances today are different from the pandemic influenza of 1918. With the knowledge gained from that experience, precautions can be taken to mitigate its destructive effects. The coronavirus is highly contagious and is easily passed on by close contact of people.

Our President Donald Trump poo-pooed its existence and declared it a hoax. Finally convinced by its reality, he issued presidential edicts, safeguards, etc. prohibiting all public events, asking people to stay home and avoid close contact of under six feet, and wear face masks. Despite all precautions, people are falling victim to the coronavirus and hospitals are quickly overloaded. Large gatherings were declared illegal.

At this time, our country is suffering a pandemic of enormous proportions. No one knows how long it will last or the human and monetary costs.

What a mess. It has never happened before in human history. It is being played out and we will have to wait and see.


(Morrie Markoff was born in 1914. From his memoir “Keep Breathing” available from and other online booksellers – “I was born, with no certainty, on Jan. 11, 1914. There are no baptismal or hospital records. My mother, Rose, gave birth to me with only a midwife and neighbor attending, in a tenement building at 330 E. 101st, in East Harlem New York City.”)


So many things have happened the last few days it boggles my mind. We didn’t know that when we left Garden Crest that the deadly coronavirus had infected one of the residents and health authorities had placed a quarantine on the entire facility.

When we arrived at my daughter Judy’s apartment at Promenade West, where Danny and I are now living, we found Judy with both hands filled with stuff she was taking to a cabin retreat she owns in a nearby mountain city.

“Have a good trip,” I said and kissed her goodbye.

After a short stay, Danny and I went to the apartment door to leave. Suddenly, the door opened. The Promenade West director was standing there.

“Mr. Markoff,” she said, “you cannot leave here because you and Danny have come from Garden Crest where one of the residents caught and died from the contagious coronavirus. You might be unknowingly a carrier. You cannot leave here for 14 days.”

“Please give me a minute to talk to Danny,” I said.

“Danny,” I said, “I don’t mind staying here for the necessary 14 days, how do you feel about it?”

“I’ll make a phone call to my wife Gloria and stay here with you,” he said.

We spent the 14-day period pleasantly.

Quarantined, Danny had food delivered to our door.

We did a lot of reading. The L.A. Times was delivered to our door. We watched a lot of TV news programs and specials.

The 14-day lockdown period passed quickly.

Judy showed up. “Dad,” she said, “you have a choice. You can leave here and go back to Garden Crest or stay where you are.”

Turning to Danny, I said, “I’m staying. How do you feel?”

Danny answered, “Me, too.”