From a book:
"Something truly horrible was taking place now as it did back then."
When you have two things that happened in the past and one happened earlier than the other, then you put the first item in the past perfect (e.g., "I had eaten). However, doing only that still isn't enough for this sentence:
"Something truly horrible was taking place now as it had back then."
It still sounds weird. Let's fix it a bit more:
"Something truly horrible was taking place now, just as it had back then."
Still not perfect but we can't scrap the sentence completely.
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