August 5, 2020

THE FEAR OF THE FEVER: how we are now living the authentic Victorian experience.

A century of germ theory and virology has meant we don’t know how to cope with the unknowability of a fever. We now have a visceral, embodied feeling of the fear of fevers, just as our great-grandparents did. The blank space where the pathology of Covid should be is filled with our own fatalistic assumptions and paranoid fears. Just because we have replaced sprinkles of white vinegar and roaring fires for hand sanitiser and Dettol wipes does not mean we are any less Victorian than our ancestors.

In our feverish terror of this unmappable pandemic we are all unleashing our inner Dickensians. I wish the Dickens Museum the very best of luck for its socially distanced reopening, but I imagine footfall will be down. No one needs to visit Doughty Street for the authentic Victorian experience when we already have one.

Well worth a read.

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