"the flat Daddy cutouts have been surprisingly popular with the families of American servicemen..."
A flat Daddy is a cardboard cutout of a soldier who has been posted abroad. It can be substituted for the real thing at parties and family gatherings, and psychologists believe it to be a valuable tool especially for children to cope with the stress of long absences. What happens in America often follows on here a few years later, so watch out for flat Daddies in your neighbourhood.
QUARANTINE comes from the Italian word for a 40-day period, 'quarantena, since ships carrying diseases were isolated for that period