What happens when all your apocalyptic nightmares seem to be coming true? In this lyrically poignant piece, Margaret Atwood reflects on growing up in the age of the scarlet fever, diphtheria, polio and the whooping cough that swept Canada in the 1940s. Yellow signs with the words 'QUARANTINED' became a signature of the era and marked doors in neighbourhoods across the country. Drawing from her own experiences and the experiences of her parents who lived through the Spanish flu, Atwood sings words of encouragement, "Take heart! Humanity's been through it before. There will be an Other Side." And while nothing is scarier than an enemy you can't see, there is always hope and there is always another side. In a way that only she can, Atwood takes a look into the past and the present to give us words for the future. Copyright belongs to O.W. Toad and this piece first ran in The Globe and Mail.