How are phases of a pandemic, wars, and The French Connection by Elizabeth Pye similar? They involve issues that force individuals to learn how to evolve from one phase to the next in coping with challenging circumstances.
Individuals and businesses cope with the COVID-19 pandemic similar to the way people have managed in wars as well as how The French Connection was written, one phase at a time.
Stay at home stress levels intensify when families are cooped up together day after day for several weeks without the usual school and work schedules. Parents must plan ahead to prepare daily meals at home.
Entrepreneurs are faced with financial hardships. Fear grips the minds of men and women who wonder if things will ever go back to normal. Or will there be a new norm? Time will tell as people in our society learn to cope with a new coronavirus outcome – wearing facial masks.
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Pandemic 2020 Phases
The Pandemic 2020 phases have been set with guidelines for individuals and employers as America opens back up again. Specific details explaining the criteria of each phase is shown on the whitehouse.gov website. Basically, the three phases are:
- Phase One includes social distancing, sheltering in place, avoiding social gatherings of more than ten people, and minimizing non-essential travel for individuals. Employers are advised to follow the social distancing protocol, encourage telework and nonessential travel, and return to work in phases. Special accommodations are advised for vulnerable personnel.
- Phase Two, Individuals – Vulnerable individuals should continue shelter in place guidelines. All individuals should keep physical distance from other in public (e.g., parks, outdoor recreation areas, shopping areas). Avoid social settings of more than 50 people unless precautionary measures are observed. Nonessential travel can resume. Employers: Encourage telework, close areas where personnel interact/congregate, and special accommodations are advised for vulnerable personnel.
- Phase Three – Vulnerable individuals may resume public interactions, should practice physical distancing, minimize attending social settings if distancing isn’t practical, unless precautionary measures are observed.
People are advised to wear masks (now a popular product). The coronavirus can spread between people when speaking, coughing, or sneezing — even if those people don’t show symptoms. Masks can help reduce the spread of the disease.
Mask wearing has caused some confusion, however. First, there were not enough available. Therefore, only vulnerable individuals were encouraged to wear them. Masks became easier to find, and skilled individuals started marketing them on the Internet. Everyone was encouraged to wear them. And now that plenty of facial masks are available, they are being enforced in some places – a factor that makes citizens feel that our freedom is being threatened.
Coping with Economical, Psychological, and Social Challenges of Pandemics and Wars
Although the causes of pandemics and wars differ, society is affected economically, psychologically, and socially. For example, the coronavirus outbreak caused shortages on toilet paper, disinfecting wipes, water and food.
Social distancing, stay-at-home directives, and self-quarantine have been overwhelming for the majority of people. But there has been a great concern for vulnerable individuals who already suffered with health issues. Whether psychologically, socially, or economically, individuals and families have had to learn how to cope with the added stress, depression, and fear.
Like epidemics, wars also affect a society’s economics and force people to learn to cope with changes when challenged with each phase. Issuing a phase at a time helps individuals to cope with the challenges they have no control over in a pandemic or war. The phases are not particularly planned ahead of time, obviously because wars and epidemics do not come with set guidelines at the onset.
French Revolution Phases
The main phases of the French Revolution were:
- Initial Revolution/1787-1792 (attempted reforms by royal authority: resistance especially by nobles; Political revolution led by bourgeois, Peasant revolution/end of “feudalism”)
- First Republic/1792-1804 (constitutional monarchy under new system; radical phase, ideas of democracy; Dictatorship; Napoleon Bonaparte)
- First Empire/1804-1814 (Napoleon defeated in war; goes into exile in Elba; Bourbon Kings restored)
- Restoration and Hundred Days period/1814-1815 (Napoleon returns, defeated again, exiled to St Helena; Bourbons restored again)
The Parisian sans-culotte (August, 1792)
Food issues can be a factor in wartime just as it can in an epidemic. For example, the early part of the French Revolution the Parisian sans-culottes (pantaloons/long trousers) addressed equality between wealth and poverty concerning food. They wrote, “In future the rich will not have their bread made from wheaten flour whilst the poor have theirs made from bran.'”
The Parisian sans-culottes were the working people of Paris who “accused King Louis XVI of treasonous collusion with foreign monarchies to squash the revolution at home.”
World War I Phases
- Phase One/1914-1916, Trench Warfare – The Western Front became known as Terrain of Death. Men slept, washed, and ate in the mud.
- Phase Two/1916-1917, Collapse of Russian War Effort due to shortages in food, weapons, ammunition, and clothing; Germany pushed the United States too far/unrestricted submarine warfare.
- Phase Three/1917-1918, War fund/”Give till it Hurts,” propaganda, rationing; Russia problems, revolution, Russia and Germany signed treaty
Wartime Food Supply
Word War II Phases
- The Phoney War/September 1939‒April 1940 – Hitler conquered Poland; Germany, Britain, and France issued propaganda; British government dropped propaganda leaflets over Germany.
- Blitzkreig/April 1940‒June 1940 – Denmark, Norway, Holland, Belgium and France were defeated by the Nazis. June 4, 1940, Winston Churchill’s famous speech “We shall defend our island….We shall never surrender.”
- Britain and the empire stands alone/July 1940‒June 1941
The Office of Price Administration (OPA) was given the authority on January 30, 1942 to set price limits and ration food and other commodities. The purpose was to discourage hoarding, as seen in the 2020 Pandemic, and to provide fair distribution of limited resources, like the wheaten flour vs. bran inequality during the French Revolution.
Sugar could not be purchased by Americans without food coupons by the spring of 1943. Coffee vouchers were issued in November 1942. By March of 1943, the following foods were available as rations.
- canned fish
- canned milk
- other processed foods
War Ration Books
War ration books were given to Americans. The books had stamps that could be used for restricted items. This worked on a point system. Points (specified by the colors, blue and red, were applied to food items according to availability.
During the food rationing, home meals had to be planned ahead carefully because of the scarcity of food. The 2020 Pandemic shortages are not exactly the same as Word War II. However, families have been cooking home meals more. That is because restaurants have been forced to serve food only as to-go orders. People haven’t been able to go to a restaurant to sit down and eat in the first phase of the coronavirus. The second phase, though, allows customers to dine in at a restaurant but at 25% of the normal capacity.
When schools started closing during the first of the 2020 Pandemic, children had to stay at home with their parents and do schoolwork online. One could easily assume when observing empty macaroni and cheese shelves that parents were cooking more at home.
And the toilet paper shortage will not soon be forgotten. Fear has caused the American people to hoard that commodity.
The French Connection Phases
The French Connection series is based on historical data from the French Revolution and World War II and has been accomplished in phases:
- rough drafts
- visits to actual places of settings
- critique group writing
- final drafts
- front cover art
It’s one thing to write historical fiction. But the majority of the publication process requires much diligence in reading research materials. In addition, the actual writing phase involves critiquing, multiple drafts, editing, etc. However, the reward is sweet for a historical romance (or any other genre) author when the last edit has been made and the book gets published.
Whether faced with coping challenges of a pandemic, world war, or even a personal battle, you can get through it – in phases. The French Revolution and World War II wars were not won without perseverance. Keep pushing past your own comfort zones. Stay positive by focusing on ways to cope. And dream. Dare to dream about the future, bucket lists, goals you want to reach. Never, never, never give up.
Treat someone to The French Connection historical romance series for Mother’s Day.
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