A Journal of the Plague Year – Revenge of the Pangolin

This shutting up of houses was at first counted a very cruel and unchristian method, and the poor people so confined made bitter lamentations.

Daniel Defoe “A Journal of the Plague Year” (1722)

Of course, Defoe didn’t know as much science as we do, and probably knew nothing of pangolins, but he did know about people. It seems from the line quoted above, that people don’t change that much. It also appears, despite generations of scientific discovery, that we don’t know much more about controlling pandemics than we did in 1665 (the Plague Year of the title).

According to the link above, pangolins have been ruled out as the source of the Covid 9 outbreak, which is a shame, as it would be a good example of cosmic justice. It might also have taught us a lesson about how to treat nature.

As an aside, I have a thought about pangolins. Why not develop a pangolin which, with the help of genetic engineering, is either poisonous when eaten by humans or explodes when stressed? The latter suggestion is probably the more messy of the two, but would help to stamp out poaching.

Can you imagine the look on a poacher’s face as his head flies through the air after he attempts to capture a stressed pangolin?

Our day has mainly been about the medical profession. Julia rang the surgery this morning to check arrangements for her latest round of tests and was told that she had cancelled the appointment by text. She hadn’t. I know this because she’s been worrying about this test since she had the previous tests in hospital. I suspect that someone in the surgery has been messing about.

We have to go down on Friday now, ring the surgery from the car park and meet someone with a blood pressure machine at the door of the surgery. That result, I’m fairly sure, is going to be high.

Julia is still struggling to sign up on the NHS app and I’m still struggling to actually download it. I suspect the system is buckling under the strain. The NHS is not known for its up to date computer systems. If you remember, it’s only a few years since the whole system collapsed and revealed quite how bad things were. At that time their IT system was worse than mine.

All that took several hours, though it’s not like we’re short of time.

The featured image is books – I like books. They calm me down.




30 thoughts on “A Journal of the Plague Year – Revenge of the Pangolin

  1. jodierichelle

    So sorry for the hassles and the worry. I have a few newer posts to read. I hope to hear Julia is all straightened out. BTW – I have a condition that gives me high blood pressure when I am cold. I have my own monitor (got it online for less than $50). I take my BP all the time & these are the things that never fail to lower it for me. 1) Downward dog – even 2 or 3 minutes. 2) ANYTHING outside – walking, gardening, raking leaves. 3) Close my eyes and breathe in slowly & out slowly for a minute or so. Hugs to you both.

    1. quercuscommunity

      I will pass those tips on – she’s currently doing an on-line course on gardening therapy so we are using our time wisely. 🙂

      Once she starts using the machine we should be able to control things better.

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  3. Laurie Graves

    I feel exactly the same way about books. Best to Julia and do keep us posted. As for pangolins…poor creatures. What a cruel, destructive species we are. I hope when this is over, we humans seriously reconsider how we treat animals, both wild and domestic.

    1. quercuscommunity

      It would be nice to think so, but I don’t think we will ever change as a race. I feel very ignorant as, until now, I didn’t know that people ate pangolins, I just thought they were cute, freaky animals.

  4. Helen

    I’m really sorry about the ongoing saga for Julia getting her results. Having recently been through a health scare recently, it was bad enough waiting when things were normal….

    On a lighter note, I did not know before your post that pangolins had been taken off the blame list. Not in favour of their heads exploding, though, as I think they’ve already suffered enough. Let’s hope that people mend their ways, anyway.

      1. Helen

        It depends how long the current situation goes on for and what legislators are prepared to do, I would guess.

  5. tootlepedal

    I have an online booking and prescription link with my GP surgery which works very well but it isn’t an app and I don’t have it on my phone. I don’t really trust phones at all, but for no particular reason.

    I would like to find time to read.

  6. Sharon

    😊 Books make me calm too. I hope this might stop the animal trade but somehow I doubt it, humans seem incapable of learning, not entirely sure we deserve to survive. Poor Julia dealing with the health system is generally designed to raise blood pressure. All the best to both of you.

    1. quercuscommunity

      I sometimes feel guilty about having kids because of the mess we have made of the world. I always wanted them to have something better, not global warming, plastic and a pandemic.

  7. Lavinia Ross

    Book and music are good comforts, as are purring cats, flowers, birds and beautiful scenery. Where are those robin photos and scones when you need them? 🙂


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