Edward Gibbon on Modern Life: Boris Johnson, Covid and Herd Immunity.

The Incoronated Microbe, more Minuscule and Venomous than any observ’d or imagin’d by Dr Hooke, blew uncheck’t around the Continents of Earth, assassinating first the unprepar’d Italian, before it increased with aggression its Empire of destruction in America, and performed its Dance of Death amid the squalid Pueblos of Brazil. Though faced with a grim ledger of this Pestilential Harvest, and supplied with urgent warnings by August Physitians, the Prime Minister conferred fatal credibility upon his own Amazing confession, that he loved not Detail. Just as the impatient Rake, tiring of Sport that depends on the exhausting study of Probability, prefers to stake his mighty Estate on the careless throw of a Die or the facile turn of a single card, so Mr Johnson diced amiably and easily with the lives of Albion, allowing Corses like Debts to pile high, as the Fatal Game progress’d. And just as every Rake diverts himself from the run of Loss by the Imagination of Sunlit Gain ahead, so the Prime Minister built his own flimsy Temple of Delusion, a theatrical Folly that rested on but two fragile pillars: first, a notion that the Pestilence would blow over, like the tiresome Tempest that intercepts a walk in the Row, or a day with Guns on the Moor; second, a wicked Theorem that when the Microbe had destroyed such Weak and Expendable wretches of Albion as it could, the Hardy Race of yeomen that remained would be Impervious to future Assault.

For the complete Edward Gibbon on Modern Life, click here.

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