We here at the Venetian Disease and Witchcraft Prevention Council (VDWPC) wish to address some issues concerning the recent reports of a so-called “Black Death”. First, let’s start with the name. It’s over-the-top hyperbole. If it is necessary to refer to this condition at all, the correct term is “Discoloration and Inconvenient Swelling Discomfort” or DISD.
Now, we know there have been knee-jerk calls for closing our Ports down due to claims that the DISD is coming off the ships somehow. This suggestion is ill-considered and unlikely to be effective. Besides, the Spice Trade with Asia is critical to the local economy. If it becomes absolutely necessary, we will send Inquisitors to the Ports to determine if there are any signs of curses on the crew or cargo. This measure will be certain to prevent any spread of disease from this source.
We all also wish to address the issue of the recent burning of the Witch in the town square. Yes, it is true that until recently she was a Healer working in the Sick House. And yes, it is true that she claimed that there were rats running free amongst the patients and Healers. However, her complaints about infection control and our decision to burn her as a Witch are entirely unrelated. In any case, removing all rats from the Sick House is unacceptably expensive and unlikely to be necessary. As always, we encourage all Healers to bathe twice a year. That should be more than enough protection against DISD.
The most important thing for the public to remember is not to panic. We have had Plagues, er, I mean Discomforts, before and we will have them again. Most people on this World will survive this Discomfort. Thus, there is no reason for alarm.
Just remember to bathe twice a year and you’ll be fine.
This has been a message from the VDWPC proclaimed in the Year of Our Lord, 1349.