The worst day of the Salem Witch Trials came on September 22, 1692, three hundred and twenty nine years ago today. Twenty victims were murdered by religious fanatics between June and October that year, eight of them on a single day. It likely would have continued had Governor Phips not had his Joseph Welch moment, a moment that made everyone stop and look at what they were doing, the harm they were causing. The trials ended by October 29, 1692.
I hereby declare that as soon as I came from fighting … and understood what danger some of their innocent subjects might be exposed to, if the evidence of the afflicted persons only did prevaile either to the committing or trying any of them, I did before any application was made unto me about it put a stop to the proceedings of the Court and they are now stopt till their Majesties pleasure be known.
The title is because September 22 to October 31 is forty days inclusive.
History.com: Salem Witch Trials
Smithsonian Mag: A Brief History of the Salem Witch Trials
Salem.org: Witch Trials of 1692
Is there really any difference between the rabble that wanted to burn witches centuries ago, and the rabble today that want ignore scientific reality, actively seeking to spread a preventable disease? The violent and fanatics of today may not be spreading fire, but they’re just as damaging with their spittle.
According to The Lancet, well over a million children worldwide have been left orphaned (both or their single parent dying) due to COVID-19, and over half a million more lost one parent. And that’s only from official estimates; unofficial tallies from India suggest five million more people died than official figures, not counted because they didn’t die in hospitals. They make Desantis’s fake numbers in Florida look like a minor bookkeeping error. How many more million innocent victims will die and be left orphans before the pandemic starts to slow in 2022 or 2023?
In 1918, Sara Teasdale wrote and published a poem entitled, “There Will Come Soft Rains”, about the end of World War I. While she was writing about war, she could have as easily been (and likely was) talking about the millions killed by the pandemic. It seemed fitting, even if it has nothing to do with Hallowe’en.
"There Will Come Soft Rains" There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground, And swallows circling with their shimmering sound; And frogs in the pools singing at night, And wild plum-trees in tremulous white; Robins will wear their feathery fire Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire; And not one will know of the war, not one Will care at last when it is done. Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree If mankind perished utterly; And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn, Would scarcely know that we were gone.