29th December 2022

Interesting Times

To my surprise, the supposed Chinese curse “May you live in Intertesting Times” is apocryphal (i.e. of doubtful authenticity), and was first recorded in 1936, although it was referenced by Joseph Chamberlaine in 1898. Never mind …. my mind is wandering ….

For the second year in a row my Christmas plans were derailed by Covid. Twelve months ago my sister’s case scuttled the family Christmas. This time, I awoke at 01:45am, Christmas Eve, to begin hours of vomiting. One Positive RAT (rapid antigen test) later, and a flurry of text messaging, the Christmas plans were again scuppered.

I wondered, has an illness ever been depicted on buttons? Can you picture a lovely spiky Covid ball on a button? No?? Too soon??? I thought of the Victorians and all their picture buttons: no diseases per se, but carriers of disease, yes. Think flys, rats, bats (that’s a thought ; bat buttons to symbolise Covid). Then there are poisonous creatures both real and mythical. Think spiders, snakes, Medusa, etc. Plenty of capricious gods on buttons, more than capable of random and/or vindictive destruction. Some political buttons of the French revolution showed nasty pikes, axes and other weapons. But diseases, I don’t think so? Amazing; nearly everything else has appeared on a button.

Must be an oversight.

Wrong kind of bat.