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In Sickness and in Health, a History of Plagues

by Take Walks
  • Location
    London, United Kingdom
  • Duration
    1h (Group)
  • Group Size
  • Language(s)
    • English


The Black Death. Bubonic Plague. Pandemic. Epidemic. Pestilence. The world has had a long, tumultuous history with disease. Using London as a prototype - crowded habitats, the chock-full tenements, the lack of hygienic sanitation, tainted water sources, and the River Thames - once a dumping ground for all manners of filth and waste, this live online tour lays context to the history of disease across the world. On this engrossing online tour from Walks, travel through history with our local London Blue Badge guide from their home to yours. While the key topic will be plague epidemic, this tour concentrates on the innovative, moving results of tragedy and loss on a society and its people. It's sixteen-hundred and sixty four in the year of our Lord, and a thick black smoke rises from hundreds of factory chimneys on the skyline. The day is breaking and no sun can be found between the haze and smoke. As Londoners begin to fill the streets, the rats scatter from here to there and into the shadows. The smells are overwhelming - they sting the nostrils and pale the skin. This is the life in London town where industrialization and coal reigned supreme. Little did anyone know the virus that took a majority of the population was hidden in plain sight. Over the course of this online live tour, your guide will reveal the role various items had in the epidemic - vinegar, tobacco, fire, and the government acts that followed to improve lives. Learn why gondolas are black, and why feline fear resulted in the death of thousands. Hear the results including the regeneration of city-funded building projects, the founding of various societies to study medical pathology, and a renaissance in the arts and sciences. You will even breakdown the various professions ordinary people took on - Plague Doctors, Searchers of the Dead, Aide Workers, among others. Join this online live tour to explore the outcome of great tragedy, the resilience of humanity, the cures and methods of care, and the positive advancements that result from such great human determination.

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