Ring Around The Rosy, a popular nursery rhyme, to many, signifies happy, playful memories. It is not until we really look into the depth of what this childhood song really meant, that we realize how devastating and gruesome the content is.
This nursery rhyme is actually believed to be signifying the Black Plague in Europe during the Middle Ages. Taking a close look at the lyrics, this becomes evident.
“Ring around the rosy.” pertaining to a red swollen ring around the infected victims eyes.
“A pocket full of posies.” describing the way the citizens would carry flowers in their pockets to cover the lingering smell of death in the towns.
“Ashes, Ashes. We all fall down” signifying the burning of infected bodies after death.
Now, call me crazy for wondering this, but why in the world are children singing this morbid song in preschool? In our society, especially in the United States, we seem to be so blind to what really goes on in the world. Many countries are struggling so heavily with life threatening viruses and disease, and we haven’t even heard a whisper about it. It seems that in our country, we feel that we don’t “need” to know about anything health related, unless it affects us. Take Ebola for example. Very few Americans even knew about this horrific disease, disregarding the slight reference to Margaret Chan having it in “The Lizzie McGuire Movie”, until it was brought into our country. Are we that selfish as a country that we think, “Doesn’t affect me, doesn’t matter”?
This is something that I believe we need to work on. Americans need to be better educated on the health risks and struggles of other nations, not just our own. If we are better educated, maybe this could lead to more discovery of ways to keep the viruses, or plagues, contained. Just because we are not infected by a fast-spreading disease, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be educated on it’s history.
This topic seems to relate back to the “Public Good”. Everyone wants to have a country with a low disease and contagion rate, but are we doing enough to achieve this? Sure it’s the role of doctors, the FDA, and WHO organizations, but honestly, it starts with us. We need to educate ourselves on different outbreaks occurring in the world. Just because the Zika Virus started in Brazil, doesn’t mean that we don’t need to worry about it, because as of now, it’s making it’s way into the U.S.. With travel being as prominent and easy as it is today, disease can spread from country-to-country within hours. If we are educated and prepared, we can save ourselves and many others, because in the end, we’d rather all stand up strong than “all fall down”.