The current news is full of fear and paranoia about the Ebola virus, and of course it is a valid concern but still not the most pressing immediate threat to one’s life and limb.
The sad truth is, any number of unlikely occurrences happening in the right order at an unfortunate time can conspire to quite quickly usher you off the planet. Take, for example, this day in 1814, when a host of people died in the undeniably tragic and yet weirdly delicious sounding London Beer Flood.
Enormous pressure inside a large vat of fermenting porter burst some iron hoops that kept the barrel together, causing other large casks to explode in a chain reaction that flooded an impoverished neighborhood. Eight were killed, mostly women and children in the surrounding buildings and streets.
I suppose this was a time and place where neighbors had little to no influence over the business ventures that took up residence in their midst. Some were probably glad they had a brewery on the block, rather than something truly dangerous and repugnant, like a slaughterhouse. Drat the luck!
In one possibly made-up account of the tragedy, flood survivors taken to a hospital caused a stir because they reeked of beer. Other patients, unaware of the reason for the sudden introduction of such a heady fragrance into the atmosphere of the infirmary, became indignant because they weren’t also receiving the same medicine that others were getting – in what smelled like mammoth doses.
I don’t think being a doctor has ever been easy.
What’s your favorite medication?