Things medical have been uppermost in everyone's mind for most of 2020, and it will doubtless continue this way for many months to come. It has been a grim period, but I've got off lightly and whenever I get to moping about how I haven't been able to go to the pub or a gig (shame about the Las Kellies show at the Shacklewell Arms on 26 March being cancelled, but there we are) I force myself to read again the following document, which I happened across at TNA shortly before lockdown.
SP 78/100/102 f. 331
Viscount Scudamore to Sir John Coke, Paris, 18/28 April 1636
Sir Francis Crane was cutt this morning. Within an hour after, the stone was brought to mee. It is almost as big as an ordinarie hen-egg; & of that shape; & rough well neere all over. Hee went to it cheerfully, & so endured it. They were not in the operation longer than you may judge I have been writing thus farre. Some 7 hours after I sent to congratulate wth him. And then he spake heartie, & said hee had lived now so many houres, meaning that his freedom from his former payne made him think his present being different as life & that wch is not life or worse. But when the urine passeth through the wound his payne is great. In a word, Mr Davison thinks him as well as could bee expected hee should bee now.
Enough to make you shudder; the modern world may be a cesspool and getting worse, but at least we - or at least some of us - have medicine (for the time being).
(Poor Sir Francis's ordeal was all in vain - he died from gangrene on 26 June.)