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Local residents under the age of 80 have no direct recollections of the largest crisis to hit the South Coast during the last century — America’s entrance into World War II. Revisiting the history of the early 1940s, however, can provide lessons about sacrifice, adaptation, and ingenuity as Coos citizens cope with the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

Unlike today’s microscopic coronavirus, the enemy after December 7, 1941, was clearly visible. Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor spurred Americans to fight an obvious security risk. Yet similarly, federal and state governments issued numerous directives and laws against the “enemy” that dramatically changed the daily lives of citizens throughout the nation and the South Coast.

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