20 Comments

  1. Grimm is mistaking the dalmatian’s spots for Small Pox.

    That’s all there is to it, I believe, other than the obvious connection to current events.

  2. Except… we’re not in the middle of a smallpox pandemic.

    Or maybe we are: I haven’t been out in a while.

  3. I’d be funny at a time when we *aren’t* worrying about a specific contagious degrees.

    In fact until ten or twenty years ago one would general consider measles to be the quintessential contagious degrees.

    As we *are* in the middle of corvid-19 this doesn’t work as spots simply are not a symptom.

  4. Okay… Here’s what I think is going on.

    Mike Peters grew up at a time when the usual joke of contagious diseases was measles and chicken pox and the jokes were about spots popping up (see last 10 seconds of this cartoon https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x4jm0dk which is an exception is much worse than I remember).

    He wants to make a joke about Covid-19 and assumes that everyone still *does* associate contagious diseases with spots popping up.

    Mike Peters has many times in the last five years demonstrated that he’s *really* out of it….

  5. Just yesterday I was reading an article about how many Native Americans succumbed to smallpox about five hundred years ago. Similar or not, this Coronavirus is an unpleasant reminder of how so many were wiped out at that time, and some even fear it could happen again in that proportion.

    So, smallpox or not, we are in the middle of something.

  6. Yes, it does work, for me at least. It shows the current fear of anyone who seems the least bit unwell. I think it also mirrors the the irrational fear many had of anyone who looked (even vaguely) Chinese.

  7. Fun Fact (well, maybe not so much fun): There’s a perception that the European settlers (St Augustine, Jamestown, etc) brought over smallpox and other diseases. Historians now believe the diseases actually came over a century earlier with the first few explorers and slowly made their way from tribe to tribe, eventually wiping out up to 90% of the Native population by the time the settlers arrived — so even when Europeans settled in areas that had never seen Europeans, the Natives they met might be only 10% of what they once were.

  8. @ Measles – Daily Motion doesn’t permit jumping to the end of the video, so you have to watch the whole thing to see the measles pop up. Another example is the Tom & Jerry cartoon “Polka-Dot Puss“, but it appears that YouTube doesn’t permit “complete” copies, so there are about a zillion different fragments.

  9. “Daily Motion doesn’t permit jumping to the end of the video, so you have to watch the whole thing to see the measles pop up.”

    There’s a slider. But it’s not actually visible. But if slide the bottom of the frame…

    I wouldn’t subject you to having watch that…. Most cartoons are better than I remember but that one…. wasn’t.

  10. W00zy saith: As we *are* in the middle of corvid-19 […]

    Someone on a local mailing list posted a confusing dream narrative, then said Sorry, that was just my CORVID nightmare. I figured it was simply a typo, like w00zy’s probably was, although the content had nothing overtly to do with the pandemic.

    Then I noticed that the story involved being attacked by black birds, and I knew this person was enough of a scholar to know that the Corvids are the taxonomic family of crows, ravens, rooks, etc. So I guess she was intentionally planting that as a bit of word play.

    Not sure w00zy wasn’t doing the same!

  11. No…. mine was a legitimate accidental typo.

    A few weeks ago someone posted a funny Meme about Covid and Corvid comparing the virus to the crow and I thought it was funny even though I had never thought of nor seen anyone make the error. And then I used CORVID-19 or “19 Crows” as a trivia team name a few times…. and since then…. well, typos…. occur.

  12. So has it been debunked that the Europeans gave blankets to the native Americans that were impregnated with smallpox?

  13. Vaguely related is, during the middle ages, when the Scots decided to invade England when England was weakened by the plague. Well, once the Scots returned, so was Scotland.

  14. “So has it been debunked that the Europeans gave blankets to the native Americans that were impregnated with smallpox?”

    Its possible for more than one smallpox infestation to occur in a continent over the period of half a milenium.

  15. ““So has it been debunked that the Europeans gave blankets to the native Americans that were impregnated with smallpox?””

    It happened. It just wasn’t the Native people’s first encounter with the disease, is all.

    While I was at Amherst College, there was a lot of talk about changing the name of the school since the smallpox blanket gimmick was Lord Jeffrey Amherst’s greatest claim to fame.

  16. My reading of the article is “pretty much debunked”. That is, apparently there was one or two attempts that might not have even been successful.Brian in STL

  17. Brian, some pretty high-profile historians , including Ron Chernow if I recall correctly, confirm the story.

    Of course, as is usually the nature of history, it was more complicated than “hey, let’s commit us some genocide!”

  18. woozy – it’s been a lot more than 20 years since measles was a big concern in the industrialized countries. (At least, if we’re ignoring the fact that it’s becoming one again).

    re: smallpox – I think that the big issue around “smallpox infected blankets” isn’t whether or not it worked, it’s whether or not it was attempted. (The secondary issue would be “was it an intentional attempt to kill people, or was it just that they had blankets that they couldn’t sell to anyone they cared about because they knew they were infected, but they didn’t care if they killed the indigenous people.”)

    BIll – I’m intrigued by the fact that renaming the school was being discussed back then, given how many people consider the current trend of renaming to be a Millenial snowflake thing.

    About the actual comic: apparently my MIL’s father thought that a red rash was a symptom of COVID-19. Even worse, as far as I can tell he thought that not having a red rash meant that they person didn’t have COVID-19. Apparently he was seeing the stock photo of a petri dish with red spots on it as the image on the news when they were talking about COVID-19, and didn’t realise the difference.

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