That classic line from Monty Python recently came into my life and made me think back to that Medieval History class in college many years ago. The professor assigned an essay question which was very simple:

Describe the economic impact of the black plague on Europe.

I no longer have that essay, if I did it would be stored on a 5 1/4 floppy disk. And I don’t have a drive that can read that format anymore.

But I do remember the skit from MP, which is not so far off. People who weren’t necessarily dying or dead of the plague did end up in that cart. Say I wanted my neighbors farm and most of his family was dead, but that old codger seemed to be immune. Darn him! No prob, hit him over the head and off he goes. The guys pulling the carts weren’t exactly medics.

There were several plagues, but the last major one was in 1665. It was one in a string of outbreaks going all the way back to the 14th century. Bubonic plague is still out there, but it is easily treated with antibiotics and less communicable then other diseases like the flu, measles or chicken pox.

It’s a morbid subject, but virologists have said that a plague hits us every 100 years or so. The last pandemic was the flu after World War I. Ebola looked like it was going somewhere, but it’s too deadly.

Maybe it will the measles. Then what will the anti-vaccination folks say?

I hope you are all feeling well contemplating the economic impact of the bubonic plague.

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