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World of the Bizarre

'Plague doctor' terrifies residents in Hellesdon

By T.K. Randall
April 28, 2020 · Comment icon 10 comments

Depiction of a 17th-Century plague doctor. Image Credit: PD - Johannes Ebert and others
Police in the UK are seeking an individual dressed in full plague doctor attire, complete with pointed 'beak' mask.
Keeping yourself protected from any airborne pathogens during the coronavirus pandemic is certainly an important consideration when venturing outside, however one person in the town of Hellesdon, England has taken things a little bit too far by opting for a full 17th-Century plague doctor costume.

The eerie attire, which consists of black robes, a black hat and a pointed beak-like face mask filled with aromatic items, was widely used by doctors to treat infected patients during the bubonic plague as it was thought to act as a filter against the 'putrid air' responsible for causing the disease.

The costume came to be feared during outbreaks as it was perceived as a sign of imminent death.

As such, it's no surprise that people might object to someone wearing it during the current crisis.
The mysterious plague doctor, who has been seen several times over the last two weeks, is now being sought by local police who would like to offer a "word of advice" regarding his or her attire.

Officers were however keen to emphasize that no crime had been committed.

"It's quite a smart-looking costume," said historian Danny Buck from the University of East Anglia.

"It's important people realize that in the 17th Century plague doctors were the brave ones who went out to see people with the disease."

Source: BBC News | Comments (10)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by quiXilver 4 years ago
Lots of masks going around these days...
Comment icon #2 Posted by OverSword 4 years ago
Last Halloween my costume was the Grim Reaper with a sheer black cloth instead of a skull.  It's the only mask I own.  If they require us to wear them people will see this in in the grocery store 
Comment icon #3 Posted by freetoroam 4 years ago
Why? He is not within 2 metres of people, he is not abducting anyone, he is not spitting on people. How about tell the parents to tell their children he is playing it safe.and not a danger.  so what are the parents teling their children, how many children actually know about the plague doctor anywag, none, until an adult tells them.
Comment icon #4 Posted by jbondo 4 years ago
Should have read your post before typing. You hit the nail on the head.
Comment icon #5 Posted by hetrodoxly 4 years ago
I'm getting one to go shopping in.
Comment icon #6 Posted by jmccr8 4 years ago
For a minute there I thought you were talking about our Mr. Walker. jmccr8
Comment icon #7 Posted by Seti42 4 years ago
if I had a Plague Doctor mask/costume, I'd be wearing it.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Hankenhunter 4 years ago
You get a plague mask, you, get a plague mask, everyone gets a plague mask! *Narrator: it their real faces.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Gary Meadows 4 years ago
A mask is a mask. Deal with it, I guess.
Comment icon #10 Posted by Still Waters 4 years ago

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