During the Bubonic Plague, doctors wore these bird-like masks to avoid becoming sick. They would fill the beaks with spices and rose petals, so they wouldn’t have to smell the rotting bodies.
A theory during the Bubonic Plague was that the plague was caused by evil spirits. To scare the spirits away, the masks were intentionally designed to be creepy.
Mission fucking accomplished
Okay so I love this but it doesn’t cover the half of why the design is awesome and actually borders on making sense.
It wasn’t just that they didn’t want to smell the infected and dead, they thought it was crucial to protecting themselves. They had no way of knowing about what actually caused the plague, and so one of the other theories was that the smell of the infected all by itself was evil and could transmit the plague. So not only would they fill their masks with aromatic herbs and flowers, they would also burn fires in public areas, so that the smell of the smoke would “clear the air”. This all related to the miasma theory of contagion, which was one of the major theories out there until the 19th century. And it makes sense, in a way. Plague victims smelled awful, and there’s a general correlation between horrible septic smells and getting horribly sick if you’re around what causes them for too long.
You can see now that we’ve got two different theories as to what caused the plague that were worked into the design. That’s because the whole thing was an attempt by the doctors to cover as many bases as they could think of, and we’re still not done.
The glass eyepieces. They were either darkened or red, not something you generally want to have to contend with when examining patients. But the plague might be spread by eye contact via the evil eye, so best to ward that off too.
The illustration shows a doctor holding a stick. This was an examination tool, that helped the doctors keep some distance between themselves and the infected. They already had gloves on, but the extra level of separation was apparently deemed necessary. You could even take a pulse with it. Or keep people the fuck away from you, which was apparently a documented use.
Finally, the robe. It’s not just to look fancy, the cloth was waxed, as were all of the rest of their clothes. What’s one of the properties of wax? Water-based fluids aren’t absorbed by it. This was the closest you could get to a sterile, fully protecting garment back then. Because at least one person along the line was smart enough to think “Gee, I’d really rather not have the stuff coming out of those weeping sores anywhere on my person”.
So between all of these there’s a real sense that a lot of real thought was put into making sure the doctors were protected, even if they couldn’t exactly be sure from what. They worked with what information they had. And frankly, it’s a great design given what was available! You limit exposure to aspirated liquids, limit exposure to contaminated liquids already present, you limit contact with the infected. You also don’t give fleas any really good place to hop onto. That’s actually useful.
Beyond that, there were contracts the doctors would sign before they even got near a patient. They were to be under quarantine themselves, they wouldn’t treat patients without a custodian monitoring them and helping when something had to be physically contacted, and they would not treat non-plague patients for the duration. There was an actual system in place by the time the plague doctors really became a thing to make sure they didn’t infect anyone either.
These guys were the product of the scientific process at work, and the scientific process made a bitchin’ proto-hazmat suit. And containment protocols!
Bruce motherfucking Lee.
“I fear not the man who has practiced ten thousand kicks once. But I fear the man who has practiced one kick ten thousand times.”
Dr. Brow Eyes is on the case
pram please we need breakfast
At least it’s fresh.
It’s been a few hours, you’ve just been hanging there. You’ve been quiet, too quiet. Usually there’s music playing, or your foot steps could be heard. But today, you’re quiet. Your little sister, who doesn’t normally come to greet you because you lock yourself away, decides to see what you’re doing. She assumes you’re taking a nap, or doing some homework quietly. She runs up the stairs, eager to see, but she comes to an immediate halt. You’re not doing your homework, nor taking a nap. Your music isn’t playing and you aren’t walking around. You’re hanging there, completely still, now just like her. At this moment, her whole world shatters. Everything she has ever known, looked up to, loved, is hanging there by a thread. At this moment, her life has been changed forever. At this moment, she wishes she was hanging with you.
Before you decide to take your life, imagine who will find you. Imagine them walking into a room, and seeing you just hanging there. Whether it be your little sister, little brother, mother father, grandparents, a friend. Imagine what will happen when they find you. No, they will not say “Finally, they’re gone.” No, they will not say “I’m happy they did that.” No, they will not say “I never loved them anyways.” They will die. Their hearts will break. They will hurt, more than you ever could. They will cry, scream, and break down. They’ll believe it’s all just a dream, praying to wake up. Except, they won’t feel that for a few seconds, or a few days, not weeks, nor months. They will feel that until the day they die. Everyday will be hell. They’ll think of you ever second. They’ll hate themselves for not being able to help or save you. They’ll wish they could die too. They’ll want to give up, just to be with you. They won’t be ever be happy again. They won’t smile. They won’t go back to their daily routine. They’ll die every time they walk past your room, or see a picture of you, or think of a memory with you. They’ll think, but stay quiet. They’ll visit your grave, feeling a knife go through their chest every time. And every morning when they wake up, no matter how long it’s been, they’ll wake up to thinking they’ll see you, only to be let down once again. And every night, they will cry themselves to sleep, because even though they refuse to admit it, know you’re gone forever.
Before you decide to take your life, think of your family, burying you. Yes, your own mother and father are planning your funeral. It’s supposed to be the other way around, but it’s not. They’ll have to call the cops, sign a death certificate, pick out clothing, buy a tomb stone, a casket, pick out flower arrangements, and more; All for their child’s funeral. The morning of your funeral, everyone who loves you is wearing black. Tears are streaming down their face, while their heart is breaking. Everyone who you thought didn’t need you, or didn’t care, are waiting in line to see you. They aren’t waiting in line at a party, or a graduation, or at a wedding reception. They’re waiting to see you, hands folded, lifeless, in a casket.
Before you decide to take your life, think of everyone you will be hurting. Don’t you dare say no one, because absolutely everyone will be affected. Your grandparents, won’t have a grandchild anymore. Your parents, won’t have a child anymore. Your brother or sister, won’t have a sibling anymore. Your pet, won’t have an owner anymore. That person you sit next to in class, won’t feel your presence anymore. Your teacher, won’t have a student anymore. That time your grandparents told you no, will haunt them forever, thinking it is their fault, that you are now dead. That time your parents yelled at you, will haunt them forever, thinking if they didn’t yell at you, you would still be here. That time your sibling said they hated you, will hate themselves, because they believe you would still be alive if they said they loved you instead. Those kids who made you feel bad, will wish they were dead too, because if they just smiled at you instead, you would be here. That teacher that said you didn’t meet her expectations, will feel like a failure, because you would still be here, if she believed in you. Everyone, who has ever been in your presence, will hurt, because if they showed you they cared, you would still be here.
Before you decide to take your life, think. Don’t just think of yourself, think of the consequences for everyone else. No one’s life will be the same again. That person who God made specially for you, won’t have you. That happiness that was waiting for you, will never show again. Before you decide to take your life, realize that you may be ending your pain, but you’ll be starting a lifetime of everyone elses.
If you are feeling alone, and think that suicide is the only way out:
My ask is open, and I’m always here. I’ll never judge you. I’ll try to help you.
If you are thinking of taking your life, call:
You stupid motherfuckers, don’t you dare not reblog this. Because this deserves 100K notes more than pictures of your favourite gay couple or cute cats, and yet it has 243 notes. 243 fucking notes? Fuck that. Fucking signal boost this.
I wish she had seen this.
You could save a life tonight with just one reblog
I know I was about to overdose when I read this. Seriously, everyone should reblog this. You never know who it’s going to help in the moment.
this is important. my good friend in High School found her father after her hung himself, her and her brother were always scarred and never acted right. they are both great people, especially as they’ve left that funk and matured quite a bit, but you can see the sadness in their eyes every day and it’s been over a decade.
I’m a fuckin’ adult
I whisper as I purchase video game shirts
Black Cats bring prosperity and protection to the homes they inhabit.
do u ever just start crying because you’re so frickin proud of steam powered giraffe i mean
they’ve gone from lowscale (but no less talented) street performers
to a frICKIN FULL ON SHOW OF AWESOME ROBOTS PLAYING HUGE GIGS ALL OVER THE COUNTRY SELLING HUNDREDS OF ALBUMS AND GETTING BETTER AND BETTER EVERY TIME YOU BLINK
I HAVE SOMETHING IN MY EYE GO AWAY
It’s an incredible journey. And we have the pleasure of sharing it with all of you. <3
Here’s the mini I made for Genghis Con! It came from a joke I made on twitter a while back about dogs and wi-fi.
I still have some physical copies of the book left so if you’re interested in buying one, send me a message or email or something. There are a lot of ways to contact me.
Photo by Mickael Leger.