Well yes today we had glorious sunshine at 6C but it was brilliant and despite the wind, very nice. I went for a walk along mostly deserted streets and if I encounter someone, we both were good about keeping a wide distance as required by Health PEI. The snow and ice is mostly gone now, it’s Spring but with no one around to enjoy it.
Listened to the Queen’s message today to the people of Canada, the UK and the Commonwealth. Four minutes long, calm and reassuring, asking that we all practice self-discipline, good fellowship and show resolve. Good days will return, she said. Observe the guidance given to you by the Health Authorities. Here in PEI we have been very lucky with 22 cases and 6 now recovered and no deaths. I really believe our Provincial Government has done a lot immediately and our Premier is following to the letter recommendations of our Chief Medical Officer. Our Prime Minister and the Government of Canada is doing their utmost to offer economic support to Canadians.
Talking of observing the guidance of our Health Authorities I was just reading an article on the Mausoleum of the Museum of London at the Barbican. If you have ever been to the Barbican you will see this big rotunda from the outside but it is not clear what it is and for most people it draws a blank. I follow a blog which is devoted to London’s East end and Spitalfield. The author is a wealth of knowledge on the area and all the intricacies of one of the oldest neighbourhoods of London going back to Roman times.
Many years ago one of the largest cemeteries in London was Spitalfield, the word Hospital was deformed to Spital, there was St-Mary’s Spital in the area and also a large market. It is or was I should say, a poor area of the city and full of immigrants from Eastern Europe and elsewhere. It was also a beehive of commercial activities, in the last 40 years as the markets moved the area has become gentrified and changed a lot. The cemetery of Spitalfield was in use since the 11th century, so when it was moved for re-development all the dead moved to the Barbican and the remains were turned over to archeologists, medical forensic experts and historians. Thousands of remains are neatly classified and documented in boxes in the rotunda (mausoleum) of the Museum of London at the Barbican.
What was discovered was that humans use to be a lot tougher to kill than we are today. If you survived the first 5 years of life you had it made. Many children in the Middle-Ages had tuberculosis but most survived, people suffered horrible injuries and survived, life was brutal and short but the lack of hygiene toughened people up with all kinds of immunities. You just made due and got on with life, the tolerance to pain was also much higher than it is today. It looks like our manic cleanliness habit has made us vulnerable. It is said that people today whose ancestors survived the plague centuries ago have developed in their genetic profile more resistance to some form of cancers and HIV infections. This part of the Museum of London is not open to the public only researchers have access to the dead who now rest there. Strangely enough, the curator confided that from time to time workmen come into the area to do repair or maintenance and many are unnerved to be surrounded by thousands of dead people. If you are interested in this blog, I highly recommend it, a part of London we do not think about when visiting.