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Lessons from History: Work hard, Plague hard

Responses to the Black Death in the 14th century should provide the government with a warning
Lessons from History: Work hard, Plague hard
  • Britons have never taken kindly to restrictions on freedom and finances 
  • Peasants' revolts should serve as a lesson to current policy makers

"Having withdrawn, living separate from everybody else, they settled down and locked themselves in, where no sick person or any other living person could come, they ate small amounts of food and drank the most delicate wines and avoided all luxury, refraining from speech with outsiders, refusing news of the dead or the sick or anything else, and diverting themselves with music or whatever else was pleasant. Others, who disagreed with this, affirmed that drinking beer, enjoying oneself, and going around singing and ruckus-raising and satisfying all one's appetites whenever possible and laughing at the whole bloody thing was the best medicine."

In 1353, Giovanni Boccaccio summarised contrasting responses to the Black Death in a rather dreary novella called The Decameron. The polarising opinion is oddly familiar in 2020 Britain; everyone is immensely fed up. 

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