Carry a Big Stick

 The Sunday Muse #182

 photo prompt

"Plague Nurse" or the traditional Czech Advent costume

400 years ago, before they knew germs spread disease, European medicos were on the right track.   Full regalia when working with the ill, the dying, the dead.  Glasses behind masks, gloves, boots, and… sticks.  Sticks to examine from a distance, yes, but also to defend themselves from desperate patients!  While “bad air” was the common belief as to spread of the plague, these physical protective measures suggest the doctors were aware infection could be made via contact with their patients.  In our day, with our own particular “plague,” shall we take up the stick to those who refuse to keep their distance, vaccinate, or wear a mask?    

 

centuries ago

to stem the spread of the plague

they knew to wear masks

 

©2021 Lisa Smith Nelson. All Rights Reserved

 

Interested as to why this strange bird-like mask would be a Christmas Advent costume?

 https://deborahstearns.blogspot.com/2014/11/czech-holiday-costumes-customs-musaion.html

 

 

Comments

  1. Your Haibun sets up the question well. And the hint of violence.

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    Replies
    1. I never knew that they would use their sticks to keep sick people away! I don't blame them for resorting to violence, trying to help (even though they didn't know how) and being approached.

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  2. Replies
    1. :) Maybe that proverbial "ten foot pole."

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  3. I love the history and relevance to today. I say carry a stick. A wonderful haibun Lisa!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you very much! I was surprised to read how many similarities there are. Why hold patients at a distance if it was in the air? They knew.

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  4. Sticks work for me. It's ancient wisdom, almost literally a no-brainer not to mask up these days.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, ancient civilizations knew a lot. It seems in the middle ages they forgot about simple health habits. "no-brainer" is perfect!

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  5. Lisa, I would use a stick if capital punishment were allowed. I say put them in jail if they don't mask. Maybe do like our Texas governor, just let them pay the consequences from another unvaccinated. But we don't want any more health folk dying, don't admit them in not vaccinated.
    ..

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your comment. It's refreshing to hear that view from a Texan! (I'm not quite serious, I know some Texans who agree with you.)

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  6. But the physicians wore the masks, not the patients. And it was by choice, not force.

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    Replies
    1. True, and those who didn't/don't choose to use health precautions bore/bear the responsibility for their own health. Those who didn't/don't use precautions to protect others might have needed/need it to be required for the public good. It's an example of "Love your neighbor as yourself." We're required, "by force," if you choose to phrase it that way, to do many things we may individually disagree with. It's part of living in a community, acting in interests of the greater good, instead of just ourselves.

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  7. Great work... and great question. I admit there are a few I'd like to take a stick to.

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