For Native Americans, coronavirus looks heartbreakingly familiar
For the first North Americans, memories of pandemics are long.
Lela Oman was an infant in Nome, Alaska, during the 1918 flu epidemic. Nome, on the far northwestern tip of the continent, had just gotten a telephone line, so residents were able to get some advance warning.
Everyone knew what to do after that, Ms. Oman recalled in a 1996 interview for a University of Alaska, Fairbanks, oral history project. Dog teams “went to Deering and to Shishmaref telling everybody up there not to come down,” she said. “At Shishmaref,...