This week we want you to think about the effects of people’s actions on others. First, read the passage below:
For the good of others…
Hundreds of years ago, what was known as Bubonic Plague, was a serious and deadly problem. The disease came to England several times, killing many thousands of people. It appeared once more in 1665 and lasted until 1666. It started in the south of England and spread northwards rapidly, from village to village and town to town as people moved about.
In the village of Eyam in Derbyshire, which had 700 inhabitants, many had already died. The priest, William Mompesson, persuaded villagers to quarantine themselves – nobody could leave and nobody could enter. By stopping all contact with the outside world, this would stop the spread of the disease. However, this also meant that they could not get help for themselves should they fall victim to the disease. In those days, this was as good as a death sentence as there was limited medical knowledge and no hospitals, doctors or medicines available to them.
By the time that the villagers ended their quarantine, 260 of the 700 villagers had died, but the plague had been contained. Their action helped to prevent the spread of this deadly disease to bigger towns such as Macclesfield, Sheffield or Manchester.
The people of Eyam made a decision themselves, encouraged by the forward thinking priest William Mompesson, who was ahead of his time in realising that movement and human contact would spread the disease to unmanageable proportions.
The government has asked people to avoid mixing and making unnecessary journeys in order to avoid spreading Coronavirus. What would you say to people who are ignoring this advice? How would you persuade them to see that their actions are irresponsible and selfish? Write a persuasive paragraph to them. Once finished, why not share it on the blog so we can see your ideas.