St. Francisville Says Goodbye and Good Riddance to 2020, Welcome to 2021
By Anne Butler
While we grieve for loved ones lost and celebrate those medical personnel and essential workers who have helped us preserve some semblance of living, we must remember that over the ages civilizations have somehow managed to survive pandemics and other atrocities. As Ashley Sexton Gordon reminded us in In Register magazine’s December issue, in the year 1347 the bubonic plague wiped out some 60% of Europeans, leading Italian writer Boccaccio to mourn that victims “ate lunch with their friends and dinner with their ancestors.” At least, she points out, they didn’t eat their friends, as did guide Alferd Packer, lost in a snowstorm in the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado in 1874, when he apparently cannibalized the five goldseekers in his starving party. And Smiley Anders’ contributor Marvin Borgmeyer brought up the Middle Ages, when survivors celebrated the end of each pandemic with wine and orgies (“Does anyone know what is planned when this one ends?” he asks).