DATELINE: Past is Prologue
Resurrected London Victims!
To try to gain a perspective on the historical viral earthquakes in society, we went back to a 2014 British documentary called Return of the Black Death.
It gave us a non-comforting and chilling perspective on what is happening today. The archaeologists and virologists involved in this little one-hour film made it clear that the Black Death was no fluke: we can have another plague at any time. Viral decimation is more than ever a possibility, owing to our worldly incompetence.
And, in case you were unaware, the exact DNA of the original plague of 1349 is doing quite well in Africa right now. It’s in the rats and their fleas.
When excavating in London for a new subway five years ago, they encountered an old cemetery from the days of the Black Death. It was uncovered and a dozen or more bodies were disinterred to give some answers about what happened. Believe it or not, they really don’t know because records and medical info was not exactly scientific in those days.
The news is that 60% of Londoners died within 9 months. The Black Death came swiftly from Europe in November and stayed until summer. Since people were already ravaged from bad famines and poor nutrition, they were sitting ducks for the plague.
Burials were key: through funerary rites and procedures, the survivors took comfort. Bodies were laid out, stacked like lasagna (their metaphor in the doc), but the care for the dead buoyed spirits of the living.
These viral horrors can do devastation for the unprepared: but isolation helped in 1349—and it may today, but this could be far worse, owing to jet travel, viral passengers on everything and everyone. It could end up being an annual horror story.
Will 60% of us die? With inept leaders and shoddy politics at the cutting edge, we may be looking at a Black Plague that is more genocidal than anything Hitler devised.