Not all superheroes wear capes of that I am certain and you certainly don’t need to look very far in order to find one. I stress it is not my intention to dampen your mood even more than it already is. In light of the current circumstances I feel that this particular story should be raised as it does bear some relevance.
Rumors were beginning to swirl of a plague ravaging London in 1665. Attempts were made to suppress it because of the shame associated with the disease. A young tailor by the name of George Viccars had travelled to the village of Eyam with the intention of making clothes for a religious festival. Upon his arrival George hung his bundle of cloth to dry on the fire. Little did he know that as a consequence the plague ridden cloth was stirring into life ready to wreak havoc on the village. George would become the first victim of the plague in September1665 and 42 more would follow in the months leading up to December.
By the spring of 1666 the villagers were desperate to flee the area to save themselves. In order to prevent the spread of the plague to neighbouring towns and villages, the newly appointed rector William Mompesson knew something had to be done. However he was unpopular in Eyam so persuading them to sacrifice their lives was going to be a challenge. With the previous rector Thomas Stanley at his side, Mompesson announced in June 1666 that the village would be closed. No one would be allowed in or out. They were quarantining themselves.
By the time the quarantine was lifted in November 1666 260 villagers consisting of 76 families had died. A young farm worker called Abraham Morten was the last to die on 1st November 1666. Even when the outbreak peaked during the heat of the summer, no one broke the quarantine. Men, women, children, young and old, the plague did not discriminate. In 1665/66 there was no such thing as the technology we have today to get them through their period of isolation. You couldn’t even begin to comprehend the toll this would have been taking on their mental well-being. It is said that people had to drag family members to nearby fields to bury them whilst those from neighboring villages looked on too terrified to help.
It was a belief of my late grandfather that you should always try to look out for those around you even if it’s something as simple as putting the bin out. This crisis has brought out the best in us but it has also brought out an ugly side too. However if we want to weather this storm and I know we will but (I don’t wish to preach to the converted) we must stick to the rules! While we are all shutting ourselves away from this invisible danger others are running towards it. I’m not trying to frighten anyone or sound like a doom monger but I would hope that this tale will make anyone think again before taking any unnecessary risks with their own health or that of others.
As one phrase going around online said, all you have to do is watch TV! However I stress you should try to find some other forms of entertainment if you can! There is light at the end of the tunnel but only if for once in our lives we do as we are asked!
Stay Home! Stay Safe! Save Lives!