2020-03-11 The plague and Quarantine

At Sovereignty Club, we try to draw inspiration for our discussion topics from something other than current events (that’s what bullshit time is there for anytime). But sometimes you can’t avoid it (and viruses today seem to be coming in both analog and digital format…), so we try to tackle things from a more, you know, erudite, perspective. Luckily for us Michael is not only an expert in astronomy and the Roman Empire, he’s also watched a ton of online classes on epidemics and stuff.

As it turns out, the history of the quarantine and the plague suffers from the opposite problem than most fields in history: there’s just way too much stuff out there. Presumably because people had way too much time on their hands every time they had to be quarantined, which has been happening for a very long time.

As such, we have a thing or two to learn from history. Already in the 14th century we can come across this sound advice from Giovanni Boccaccio, who learned it from the Black Death:

Boccaccio suggested you could save yourself by fleeing towns, surrounding yourself with pleasant company and telling amusing stories to keep spirits up. Through a mixture of social isolation and pleasant activities, it was possible to survive the worst days of an epidemic.

I extend an invitation to anyone who qualifies as pleasant company and would like to follow me to an Airbnb in the country for the foreseeable future.

And, for those concerned about what the future may hold, I highly recommend this article from the Smithsonian Magazine on the 1918 flu pandemic (aka Spanish flu). The good news is that, although today’s’ pandemic (the Dr.WHO just finally declared it so!) is much less deadly, due to its target demographic, it may still bring a solution to healthcare, the housing crisis, social security, and other self inflicted first world problems. The better news is that the 1918 flu struck again in 1919, less deadly than 1918 (but still deadlier than any other thing you could compare it to), so there is still hope for the future. Start hedging your market bets.

See you today at BBB B101, 6PM

In sovereignty,