Virus — Meet Strychnine

Cover of William Palmer Pamphlet detailing this case

Just to show that COVID-19 has nothing on crime, I am working on an article based on The Most Extra Ordinary Trial of William Palmer for the Rugeley Poisonings, which lasted Twelve Days.

Now ensued a terrible scene. He was instantly seized with violent convulsions; by degrees his body began to stiffen out; then suffocation commenced. Agonised with pain, he repeatedly entreated to be raised. They tried to raise him, but it was not possible. The body had become rigid as iron, and it could not be done.
Gradually the pulse ceased—all was over—he was dead.
I will show you that his was a death referable in its symptoms to the tetanus produced by strychnine, and not to any other possible form of tetanus.

Be Safe and Be Grateful This isn’t the 14th Century

We have a sister who is an OB-GYN surgeon who is being pressed into service in the current pandemic. She sent us a message the other day:

Stay inside unless you want to be intubated by a gynecologist.

Seems like a good idea to pass along.
 
n.b. In the Great Pestilence of the 14th Century London itself lost 90 percent of its population. Europe in general lost well over half of its inhabitants.