We all knew — assuming we survived to tell the tale — that COVID wouldn’t last forever. Not even the Black Plague lasted forever, though I suppose since it is still around in the world and still erupts in many places including the U.S. and Russia (Mongolia) and probably elsewhere that aren’t showing up in reports (usually because doctors have forgotten how to “see” it), you could say it never left. But not entirely leaving is not the same as an epidemic that knocks off (probably) half the world’s population.

Garry masked.

Depending on what sources you read, estimates on human loss to Bubonic (Black) Plague varies from 25% to 75%. In a few places in England, entire regions were left without a living soul. There was also a lack of records because the people who kept them died. In many obscure areas, everyone died and corpses were burned and sometimes entire towns were torched. This made recording losses less important than trying to avoid becoming one of the corpses.

Me masked.

COVID-19 didn’t get quite that bad. The survival rate for Bubonic Plague was zero. If you got it, you died. Fast. As quickly as four hours from first symptom to death. The little nursery rhyme, “Ring Around the Rosy” is actually about the plague.


Ring around the rosie
pocket full of posies
ashes, ashes
we all fall down!


“Ring Around the Rosie” is a lethal little rhyme about bubonic plague in London in the 1600s. The little ditty was not a nonsense poem but likely a chant of the doomed. And as for the “rosie,” there was a rumor that the scent of flowers could protect you from plague. It might make your corpse smell better, but it was stunningly unable to prevent you from catching plague.

Since that time, plague has occurred as scattered cases in rural areas. Most human cases in the United States occur in northern New Mexico, northern Arizona, southern Colorado, California, southern Oregon, and far western Nevada. When the rats leave the sinking ship? Run away, run away.

Teddy wants everyone to stay healthy!

We all knew that plagues — even the most virulent — eventually run their course. In the case of bubonic plague, it some areas it ran out of living people to infect. Plus, there are always a few people who are naturally immune to whatever disease it is, though I personally wouldn’t count on being one of them. The odds are a bit long for my taste. COVID, which is on many levels, “the new flu” because “the old flu” is what’s left of the last 1918 – 1921 COVID epidemic. COVID isn’t specifically a single disease. It’s a class of diseases and it’s a virus which is lucky because you can create vaccinations against viruses, but not against bacteria. COVID is your basic winter cold. It’s some very lethal forms of flu carried by mosquitoes. It’s the same flu for which we get vaccinated annually.

That’s why they gave it a number to identify this version of COVID from all the other variations on a theme of COVID. Like the last flu epidemic, COVID-19 is likely to linger. I can but hope that they come up with one vaccination that will work for the old COVID flu and the new COVID-19.

The number of deaths during the 1918 – 1921 flu epidemic was estimated to be at least 50-million worldwide with about 675,000 in the U.S. With all our modern medical weaponry and early vaccinations, the U.S. actually exceeded the previous death rate because back then, everyone did everything possible to avoid getting sick whereas this time, a lot of people thought rumors on the internet were more authoritative than medical evidence. Many of those people died. This probably proves (if nothing else) that the internet should not be your first choice for accurate medical data.

Wearing masks during the 1918 Flu epidemic

No one talked much about what would happen when we took off our masks and life returned. How or if the prolonged isolation would affect our immune systems. That as we re-entered “the real world,” we old folks and little kids would pick up one thing after another because, as it turns out, immune systems are stronger when they have work to do and they’ve been idle for years.

Personally, having survived the COVID-19 pandemic, regardless of immune-system issues, it was worth it. I’m alive. Garry’s alive. Owen and his partner are alive. Still, I’d have been just as happy to never get sick again — probably too much to ask.

Yesterday, for reasons that I still don’t entirely understand, I bought a long overdue update to my astrology-casting program. It assured me I’m going to live for 246 years. It said not once, but many times. It seems to have something to do with a conjunction of Jupiter and the moon or maybe saturn and something else. I’m not sure. I just figured this was the first (ever) astrological program to display a sense of humor.

I don’t think Social Security has ever paid out benefits to one person for so many years. Frankly, I’m not convinced at 246, I’d still be enjoying life. I would be the oldest living person on earth. Is that a good thing?

Categories: #Health, Anecdote, Coronavirus - Covid 19, Epidemic - Pandemic - Plague, Vaccination, vaccine

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12 replies

  1. I think you should do a group astrology-chart reading, Marilyn. Can you see a bunch of us, typing with 246-year old fingers: “Remember that time back in 2022…” Cheers to old times and good friends. 🥂


    • I’m still baffled at 246 as “the” number. Why 246? I tried to reproduce the information, but couldn’t figure out where it came from or what combination of planetary configurations would produce that information.

      If I live to a full 246 years, that would leave me 171 more to go. Garry says I shouldn’t worry because I’m bound to pick up companies that want me to advertise their products as being whatever it was that made me the oldest living senior. That’s good to know because I’m pretty sure this house will have fallen to pieces by then. Depending on how many of us live nearly forever, maybe we could form a commune of the super aged. You think?

      Would the U.S. still be here? What would the earth look like? Would they still be paying me Social Security and Medicare? What would medicine look like in another 150ish years? Inquiring minds would REALLY like to know!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Even if social security lasted until you were 246 who would want to live that long? One thing I’m happy for is that I won’t be around in 50 years to see the mess we’re in.
    I’ve been so lucky to get through Covid without getting it till now. Of course it helped that I spent lockdown virtually alone and that even now I rarely go where there are a lot of people. I think I still wouldn’t have got it if Naomi hadn’t caught it and she only got it because she went on holidays. We don’t think she caught it on the cruise ship although most ships are getting a few cases. She didn’t get sick till she’d been off the ship for about four days, so we think she got it in Sydney riding on public transport or at the airport even though she took all the precautions she could. Luckily it wasn’t too bad for either of us, chills on the first day, then it was just like a cold, coughing, sneezing, sore throat etc. If we hadn’t tested ourselves, I probably wouldn’t have thought it was Covid.


    • I have a lot of trouble even imagining functioning in another 50 years, much less 170 of them. I’m so crotchety now, what would I be like that far along? Also, will there even BE a U.S. or for that matter, any nation as we now know it? Would our houses LAST that long? This one at 50 years is just creaking along, so I hesitate to imagine its condition given another 100 years! And will there be a viable planet?

      Everyone assumed I had COVID. Four tests later, I clearly don’t. I had tested myself right at the beginning, just in case — and it was negative. The other three were during the past couple of weeks.

      Also, antibiotics were highly effective and worked fast — which would not be true for a virus. In less than 24 hours, the fever was gone, I could eat again. Now I feel like I have a mild cold. I have probably been nurturing whatever this is since August. I totally misdiagnosed what was going on and everyone agreed because sometimes a coincidence looks remarkably like a cause. It wasn’t a medication issue. I was actually sick with some kind of stomach bug. When my glands started erupting, I was sure it was just a stiff neck, though I got a bit suspicious when it didn’t go away — and then the OTHER side of my neck joined the party.

      I should probably point out that whatever it is was obviously not contagious because I’ve been doing all the cooking all along and NO ONE got sick. Truly, this is “cause unknown” at its finest.

      This is one of the prices one pays for having a lot of physical problems. It’s really easy to ascribe everything to something you’ve already got without considering that it may actually be something entirely different and it’s just a coincidence that it showed up when it did.

      I eventually realized whatever was going on was not be what I thought. We still don’t know WHAT it is, but as long as it goes away, I’m fine. If I wasn’t so sickly so often, this could have been nipped in the bud months ago. But I didn’t know and everyone, doctor and husband and son all assumed the same things I assumed … so instead of going away, it lingered. If I hadn’t started running a fever, it might never have been caught.

      So now, imagine me in another 100 years. Oh NO!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, if you had no other issues this would probably have been picked but it would be hard to pick new symptoms from the mess of ones you already have. So many times over the past three years I’ve had a bit of a sore throat, I’m prone to them, and worried “Is it Covid?” even though I knew I hadn’t been in contact with anyone. This time I knew without a doubt I was going to get it,
        This house was built in 1968 and has its issues. It might still be standing in 50 years but we might be on the waters edge by then if the seas rise enough. Waterside property is so expensive. I wonder if that will change as more and more people get flooded out?


        • I think the price of insurance will get so high that no one who isn’t rich enough to replace a lost house without insurance will be willing to build anything near a shoreline. There are going to be many MANY losses along many seashores. Everywhere. New England has already lost quite a few bays and beaches. Even before the current crisis, the shorelines were always being eaten by storms. It’s normal to lose shorelines and houses. When I was a child, we lost two beaches and a bay on Long Island to just one single storm. And this happens regularly — and always has in New England. I’m assuming this is just the way the sea likes to tease us.


          • I looked at a predictive mapping of our area that showed where the sea might be in 30 years. We were OK but the water had come as far as the street that branches off ours that leads to the current playground so pretty close. Of course it’s just a prediction but very sobering. There are new houses built on that street.


            • People want to live near the water regardless of the expense and the likelihood that one major storm might destroy that brand new house. We are very storm-ridden around this part of the world. Again, that has always been true. The number of songs written about storms off Cape Cod or Cape Ann range into the hundreds and Garry was reporting this story 50 years ago. It is normal for storms to destroy — or add — pieces of shoreline. Shorelines are changeable and up here, they are mostly sand and it is normal for it to shift with the weather.

              In 1938, Menemsha Harbor, a major fishing port on Martha’s Vineyard, was eaten by a hurricane along with about 1700 fishing boats and many houses and businesses. And yet people keep building there.

              I don’t understand why companies insure these houses given the likelihood of the sea will eat them sooner or later. Maybe you don’t get a lot of big storms where you are located, but we do. It’s insanity to build that close to the waterline ANYWHERE in New England. Katherine Hepburn’s house was destroyed by a storm when she was a child. They rebuilt the house — AWAY from the water. Not everyone is dumb.

              Then there are people who build up on cliffs. Looks safe enough — until the storms eat away at the base of the cliff and the house comes crashing down into the sea. There are just SO many ways the water can get you and now with climate change? I think I’m happy enough NOT getting flooded. We did that already. It was very messy.


              • We’re on the edge of Bass Strait which can be a choppy body of water but we don’t get storms like they experience on the east coast of NSW and Queensland especially. However even a rise in the level of the sea is going to have an effect over time. The beach here has been eroded and locals who own beachside property have sandbagged it. A local wildcare group is planting trees to protect the shoreline as we get tidal surges, especially in winter. The beach we lived near in Adelaide was very stony but people told me that it used to have a lot more sand. It had been carried away over time. Beaches are not forever.


                • Beaches are temporary and building on them is playing at dice. Mind you I really understand WHY people want to live by the water. It’s beautiful — until a storm surge pops out of nowhere and eats the sand under your home’s foundation — assuming you have one.

                  Liked by 1 person

  3. Exactly right, Marilyn. Post-Covid we are all getting sick all the time. I’ve had the worse year of illness ever and I didn’t get a single sniffle during the two years of Covid. Being sick is barrels of no fun especially now the work goal posts have moved and you are expected to work on-line even if you are half dead. There have been a few outbreaks of plague in Madagascar during the 21st century so it’s definitely still around. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/21st_century_Madagascar_plague_outbreaks


    • The biggest problem today with plague is identifying it. Doctors have forgotten it or at least forgotten it’s “signature” identifiers. IF they catch it early, heavy doses of antibiotics can cure it, but if it isn’t caught fast, it leaves a lot of damage EVEN with antibiotics. Regardless, it’s one lethal disease that kills you FAST.

      I started working “online” VERY early — long before it was something that even came up for conversation. The good thing was that because you could work any time, day or night, I often worked at night because those old 2400 BPS modems were a lot faster when no one else was online. Later, when I was running my own little business, I discovered that if you are working online, unless it’s dinner time, you can actually work all the time. Which I did. Also, when YOU are your own boss, you never ever get a sick day because your boss is as tough as you are. Wait, your boss IS you.

      There’s a lot to be said for working online including NOT commuting and not having anyone peering over your shoulder. But it isn’t restful and it isn’t “not working.” My guess is that eventually, except for stuff requiring direct interaction with clients, most work will be online or at least partly online. The best part of that is that it will move a lot of people out of the city and into the country. That may also be the worst part.


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