Things looked somewhat similar in Fort Saskatchewan 102 years ago.
The 1918 flu pandemic hit the province of Alberta on October 2, after a train of 12 infected soldiers arrived in Calgary.
It quickly spread to Edmonton, which saw schools and churches shut down on October 18. Over 1,000 patients were hospitalized by October 19, and over 2,000 by October 25.
On October 30, the local board of health placed Fort Saskatchewan under quarantine to limit spread within the town.
"They stationed guards at all roads leading into town and allowed no one to enter unless they had a special permit from the board of health," said Kyle Bjornson, curator at the Fort Heritage Precinct. "And this comes a few days after the provincial board of health had actually mandated the wearing of gauze masks in public, they had banned public gatherings."
By November, Fort Saskatchewan had reached 86 cases of the flu, which was approximately nine per cent of the population at that time. Three people died.
The former Graham house, located on 10115 108 Street, was converted into a temporary hospital during the pandemic and saw four people hospitalized.
Those currently living in the house speculate there may have been a tunnel connecting to the neighbouring building, giving nurses living next door easier access to patients.
Bjornson noted a lot of similarities exist between the 1918 pandemic and today's efforts with COVID-19. Businesses were closed and extra safety precautions were taken.
"We're seeing a lot of similar approaches in terms of public health measures, the physical distancing," he added. "People were encouraged to stay home, much like we are now, as well as wearing masks."
Fort Saskatchewan's quarantine lastest for three weeks, being lifted on November 17 at 6 p.m.
Province-wide, a total of 38,000 cases of the flu were reported and around 4,000 Albertans were killed.
A tunnel is said to have connected the former Graham house to the building next door.
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