London – Eyam, a village in England’s Derbyshire Dales, is remembered in history for quarantining and sacrificing itself during the Great Plague of the 1660s.
With the current pandemic throwing spotlight on this small corner of rural Britain, a museum run by local people is charting the incredible story of the village.
“More people died in Eyam, as a percentage, but they stopped the spread of the disease to other local villages and towns, therefore, saving hundreds, even thousands, of lives,” said Eyam Museum’s Lynette Sidhu.
“There were around 850 people in our village when the plague broke out in 1665. Within 14 months, 260 of them had died,” Sidhu said.
The village was sealed off after the plague was discovered there, with no-one allowed in or out. Based on what happened in Eyam, Sidhu told Xinhua that Wuhan, the Chinese city hardest hit by the Covid-19 outbreak, did exactly the right thing by isolating and quarantining the whole city.
The Eyam museum bears the spirit of self-sacrifice of the villagers, said Sidhu. “I think the villagers of the Great Plague era would be amazed at how their actions are being recalled in 2020.”