Last summer I reread In the Wake of the Plague: The Black Death & The World It Made by Norman F. Cantor. I bought it in 2002 because of the cover art and my fascination with the idea of how society would change if one-third of the population disappeared. 

IntheWakeofthePlague 

Some changes are measurable. According to Cantor, “the Black Death accelerated the decline of serfdom and the rise of a prosperous class of peasants, called yeomen, in the 15th century. With “grain rotting in the field” at the summer harvest of 1349, because of labor shortage, the peasants could press for higher wages.” Similarly, there’s currently a labor shortage because people aren’t interested in risking their lives for almost no money. 

Cantor also describes the increase in women working to support their families (because the men were dead) giving them newfound power. During this pandemic, there is increasing recognition that mothers do more unrecognized work than anyone else. One woman, Reshma Saujani, is trying to do something about it. Learn more about at https://marshallplanformoms.com/.

Some changes will be analyzed after this is ‘over’ with people theorizing about what might have been if there was no pandemic but there will be no way to really know.

Most intriguing is the change that can’t be measured. Try as they may, people cannot measure feelings. Surveying a few hundred people then writing a newspaper article doesn’t reveal much. Headlines from a month ago told us young single men aren’t as interested in sex because of the pandemic. Really?

Changes happen within each of us when the world outside changes. We can’t necessarily control either. They appear in subtle forms - a modified tone or manner. Or, they won’t appear at all and will just exist in a way no one can see like magnetism or heat or how this message got to you or God. 

I’ll be sharing news about the jewelry studio in India, new pieces I’ve made, and locations of where you can mask up and try them on. Just wanted you to know, if you aren’t ready for winter or excited about the holidays or are just tired, you are not alone.


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