Cures for the Black Plague…and COVID-19
It's amazing just how far we haven't come...
As regular readers might have already noticed my mind does not travel in a straight line. Point A leads to Point R and then back to Point L and maybe takes a flying leap to Point Y and then somersaults back to Point A where I do my best to stick the landing.
And my writing reflects that thought process.
In an essay about people who don’t want to get vaccinated against COVID-19, I mentioned the Black Plague which made me wonder how people tried to cure it back when we thought the sun went around the earth and we were the Center of the Universe.
An opinion still held by a certain Fox News personalities.
Turns out that in the 1300s some people thought you could cure the plague by “blood-letting” which is completely ridiculous because as we have since learned that’s actually the cure for election results you don’t like.
Back in the 1300s blowing your nose and clearing your throat was a way of getting rid of too much “cold” phlegm, while simultaneously disgusting your dinner companions and ensuring your first date with that “hot wench” you found on social media – which in those days involved a town crier: “Griselda, bi-curious and looking for companionship with an un-diseased, generous male with at least three teeth!” – would also be your last one.
(And I really hope you were able to mentally hang with me during that fairly lengthy digression involving social media in the 1300s and get to the barely-humorous joke at the end.)
According to the internet, here are a few of the things the uneducated and ignorant people of the 1300s thought might cure or prevent the Black Plague and I didn’t make up any of these.
Cures for the Black Plague
Rubbing onions, herbs or a chopped up snake and/or pigeon on your boils: A cure which sounds overly hard on the local snakes and pigeons and possibly Griselda the local wench looking for companionship and considering hygiene standards in the 1300s you gotta wonder how man and/or womankind had any interest in getting close enough to anybody else to procreate, so it’s pretty amazing we have survived as a species.
Whenever I see romantic scenes in movies set in the Middle Ages – like Robin Hood swapping spit with Maid Marian – I think: “Man, I bet those two stink.”
Drinking vinegar, eating crushed minerals, arsenic, mercury or “even ten-year-old treacle!”: I put that last part in quotes because whoever wrote the Black Plague article seemed to be more astounded that you’d drink old treacle (which is kind of like molasses) than the contents of a thermometer which would definitely make sure you no longer had to worry about the Black Plague because you’d probably be dead or, if you somehow survived drinking mercury, able to accurately state the temperature.
Sitting close to a fire or in a sewer: This was thought to drive out the fever because apparently even the Black Plague thinks sitting in shit is pretty disgusting and – along with your ex-girlfriend Griselda – wouldn’t want to have anything to do with you.
Fumigating the house with herbs to purify the air: This is something you’d definitely want to do after spending the afternoon lounging in the local cesspool.
Whipping yourself: People who believed God was punishing them could give God a helping hand (which an amazing number of people seem to think an omnipotent God needs) by whipping themselves, which is completely ridiculous because God doesn’t punish you with diseases. He and/or possibly She punishes you by requiring you to attend long and extremely boring religious services while your favorite NFL team is on TV. So maybe you could combine being punished and watching football by becoming a New York Jets fan.
And speaking of punishment:
Doctors often tested urine for color and health and some even tasted it and this was the beginning of wine snobs who back then would try a big mouthful of urine and then say: “This one has a robust bouquet and a smooth finish.”
OK, so people in the 1300s were so dumb and ignorant about science and what caused or cured a disease, that they’d sit in a sewer or whip themselves or drink a urine Mai Tai or become a New York Jets fan in the hopes that it would help, but after 700 years of scientific progress we’re way smarter than those Medieval Blockheads.
Cures for COVID-19
Now here are a few of the things that the highly-advanced people of the 21st Century have tried to cure or prevent COVID-19 and once again I’m not making any of these up.
Inhaling hydrogen peroxide: The guys promoting this idea reasoned that if you could use hydrogen peroxide to clean surfaces you could also use it to clean human airways, so you gotta wonder why they didn’t suggest snorting Ajax which I just remembered some girl tried in the Cheech & Chong movie Up In Smoke and here’s a 22-second video that shows just how well that works:
Using the color white: A post on Facebook (which – as well all know – is where you get the best medical advice) claimed the color white had a harmful effect on the coronavirus so you should use a white handkerchief, which is of course bullshit because as history as shown us the color white actually has a harmful effect on Black people.
Drinking bleach: According to a CDC survey, 4% of the respondents consumed or gargled diluted beach or soapy water or other disinfectants and nearly 20% said they washed their produce with bleach and the numbers were surprisingly high because you’d think all those people would be pretty much dead and all this happened after Donald Trump wondered out loud if it was possible to inject bleach into people, which seems to indicate Trump supporters will do anything he suggests no matter how moronic and that includes overthrowing the government.
Snorting cocaine: This cure was promoted by Dr. Tony Montana because it would sterilize your nostrils and if Dr. Tony provides the coke I’m willing to give it a try, although my personal experience with cocaine is that you’re digging a hole you’re eventually going to have to climb out of and the more you snort the bigger the hole and you have to decide whether 15 minutes of seemingly fascinating conversation with an unplugged microwave is worth spending the next 24 hours exhausted, but unable to sleep and feeling like you swallowed an inner tube.
Smoking marijuana: It turns out smoking weed does not prevent or cure COVID-19, but does have the not-to-be-underestimated benefit of making you not give a fuck. Also, it makes Oreo cookies taste fantastic and you don’t need to worry about getting addicted to harder drugs because as one of my sons explained to me: “Weed isn’t a gateway drug to harder drugs; it’s a gateway drug to Taco Bell.”
Wearing “Virus Shut Out Protection” pendants: It turns out jewelry of any sort will not protect you from COVID-19, but you might be able to trade one of these pendants for some high-quality blow from Dr. Montana.
Ingesting colloidal silver: This was promoted by evangelist Jim Bakker and I’m pretty sure I’d rather get medical advice from a Cuban drug dealer. It turns out ingesting colloidal silver doesn’t protect you from anything, but can turn your skin permanently blue so if they ever make a live-action Smurf movie, try to get an audition and here’s a picture of what you can wind up looking like and this is a real picture.
Drinking cow urine: This was promoted by an Indian politician and it turned out they had to be Indian cows (which seems kinda racist in a way I can’t quite define) and you also might try rubbing your body with cow shit, a cure which was hotly disputed in the Middle East because they believed the best anti-coronavirus urine actually comes from camels.
Sleeping on an anti-coronavirus mattress: Turns out soccer star Lionel Messi bought one of these and it only cost him 900 pounds which is $1,215 in U.S. dollars and maybe you should try to sell Lionel a $100,000 bucket of cow shit as long as he’s in the buying mood.
Eating the fruit of a Datura plant: Unfortunately, the fruit of the Datura plant is poisonous and 11 people in India wound up hospitalized because they listened to the medical advice provided on a TikTok video and the geniuses who promoted this idea figured it would work because the fruit of a Datura plant looks a little like those pictures they show us of the coronavirus.
Hey, you know what else looks a little like the coronavirus?
So if eating the fruit of the Datura plant doesn’t do the trick, buy one of these and have somebody hit you in the head and while it probably won’t cure COVID-19 it stands a good chance of greatly improving humanity’s gene pool.
Touching your television: Televangelist Kenneth Copeland told his followers to touch their televisions while he was on them, which is apparently just as good as being vaccinated and on at least three occasions Kenny has claimed he had destroyed the COVID-19 virus by summoning the “wind of God” which actually sounds like something God would get after eating a Datura plant and apparently all this is news to the COVID-19 virus because it seems to just keep killing people.
Applying a cotton ball soaked in violet oil to your anus: This was suggested by Abbas Tabrizian who is described on the internet as an “Iranian cleric and quack” and you know this cotton ball trick won’t cure the coronavirus because it’s actually something you have to pay extra for when you have a session with a high-class prostitute.
So what have we discovered?
Jesus said, “The poor you will always have with you” but neglected to mention morons and it seems pretty obvious that 700 years later we still have people so dumb and desperate (which should definitely be the title of my autobiography) that they’ll try drinking cow urine or whipping themselves or sitting in shit on the advice of total strangers who might also like to sell them a $1,200 mattress.
(And for that kind of money I’d expect it to come equipped with Morgan Fairchild, but the young Morgan Fairchild).
But some of these same dumb and desperate people who seem willing to try absolutely anything, even when the suggestion comes from a complete stranger with no education or background in medicine, are still reluctant to get vaccinated when the suggestion comes from all the leading medical experts.
In the United States alone 428 million doses have been administered and so far side effects seem to be minimal and protection seems to be pretty good so anyone who was holding out now has a lot of evidence that the vaccines work.
But if you’d still rather sit in animal poop, there seems to be plenty of bullshit to go around.