Who’s up for a renaissance?


Wallace’s Weekly Wrap

Happy Friday you wonderful humans.

Let me paint a bleak and devastating picture. It’s the year 1347 and things look very different from how they do now in 2020. Life expectancy was a measly 45 years of age (compared to 79 in 2020).

An epidemic is beginning to spread across Europe, moving along the Silk Road and via trade ships and invasions. Medieval doctors do not understand the existence of microbes like Viruses and Bacteria. They are still 450 years from the development of the first successful vaccine (Smallpox) and the preventative measures that are prevalent today. Sanitation or land-based quarantine are non-existent.

When an area was affected, it’s people would flee, unwittingly spreading the disease wherever they went.

The cause? Well in 1347, the thought was that it could be one of a few things.

a) Divine punishment from god,

b) Natural causes such as planetary movement or unpleasant smells, or

c) a manufactured and distributed of poison (turns out there have been conspiracy theorists all along).

Between the years of 1347 and 1352, the black death ravaged Europe. It ultimately resulted in (an estimated) 50 million deaths, which was as much as 60% of the European population at the time.

We would learn in 1894 that the cause was a bacterium called Yersinia Pestis. Transmitted from rodents to humans by the bite of infected fleas. Fun fact, the Black Rat’s scientific name is ‘Rattus rattus’.In 2020, the world is very different. To put it simply, we know better and will no doubt do better. Our understanding of the virus, sanitation and preventative measures will see to this.

I’m aware that I’m drawing a very long bow to compare COVID-19 to the Black Death but bear with me.

Both during and after the black death, the world changed. What followed was an impassioned period of cultural, artistic and political ‘rebirth’. A time that we all know as the Renaissance.

Thought leaders like Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo, Nicolaus Copernicus, Dante, William Shakespeare and Michelangelo, among many others, would lead the way towards a new way of thinking built around the mainstays in the life we love today.

Think philosophy, science, literature, architecture and art, to name a few.

Whilst the timing and cause of the Renaissance period can be heavily debated, these revolutionary thinkers had a vast impact on on the civilisation we know today.

One could also argue that the ‘Spanish flu’ of 1918-20′ along with World War One led to a time of growth and prosperity we know as the ‘Roaring 20’s’

These two comparisons are drawing a clean-cut line between different time periods. Of course, there were many other factors, but I’m ok with drawing another very very long bow on this one.

Over the past four months, the world has been affected by another epidemic. Our whole lives have been turned upside down. Our daily lives have changed immensely. Freedoms have been taken away and liberties extinguished. All in the name of public health and safety.

We will get through this, we have to. We know that it is always darkest before the dawn. I have no doubt that when this sun rises, we will have a newfound perspective and appreciation for the life we live. Things will be better than ever before. Why? Because we will make it so.

That book you’ve always wanted to write, Course you’ve always wanted to complete, Business you’ve always wanted to start, challenge you’ve wanted to undertake… well there will be no better launchpad for you to start than right now. Write it, complete it, start it, undertake it. Make good things happen.

Life’s too short. Do things that really matter’

Who knows, we may even have a renaissance of our own.

Until then Stay Home, Stay Healthy and Stay Connected.