The Tudor Society

Covid-19 and Sweating Sickness – Are they the same thing?

In this special video, I compare Covid-19, Coronavirus, which is causing havoc here in 2020, to the Sweating Sickness epidemics in England in the 16th century.

Are Covid-19 and Sweating Sickness similar? Are they the same illness?

Find out more in this talk.

You can find out even more about Sweating Sickness in my video from 2014 - - or in Claire's book "Sweating Sickness in a Nutshell".

For more information on Coronavirus, please see the World Health Organisation's website at

There are 2 comments Go To Comment

  1. R

    Sweating sickness wasn’t Covid 19 or any Corona virus which has been around since the 1960s and which causes 10% to 30% of all colds and flu viral outbreaks. Covid 19 is a variety of SAARS, SAARS 2_of bat origins, spread originally by bat dropping to the human host, it can mutate inside the host and has learned how to kill its host….us. Its a variety of corona virus but a new strain, never seen in human beings before. It’s not as terrible as the sweat which killed within hours, but its very serious, nasty and can be deadly as the high tolls show. It is something which can infect anyone. Like SAARS it originally came from China who tried to hide the truth but couldn’t contain it. It has spread just about everywhere and is the first real pandemic for 102 years. We don’t have a vaccine and everyone is worried and pretty scarred, just as people were in Tudor times. There is a direct link from China to Italy through 11 people who came on holiday from there to Italy and then from there to the U.K. However, it could not be controlled and because of international travel it has spread across Europe and the rest of the world. Most of the world are now in lockdown and people are limited to their movements. China have got on top of it and opened up some areas of normality. The natural order of things should be a country by country reversal as figures decline but its not that simple. Population capabilities to fight the disease is affected by a number of factors, health care, poverty, social distances, natural or herd immunity and disease fighting measures. Its a virus which doesn’t appear to be affected by one particular environmental factor and as yet we don’t know if its seasonal. We don’t know when or if it will die out, although most do. We don’t understand second wave potential but we do understand something from its DNA versus our own genetic makeup. Signs are pointing to government measured responses starting to work, slowly and people sunbathing in the parks are idiots, causing it to spread further.

    Personally some things should have been tougher earlier on, like international travel and sports events being stopped. However, you can’t lockdown everyone at the start because the evidence didn’t support that measure. There are balancing acts which need to be done with any measure which keeps an entire population at home, because we have key workers who need to work, we have vulnerable people who need care, we have to shop for food, we need to exercise for health and immune response and sanity and we have health care on the front line. We have an economic consequences to closure of any business and people have to live on more than fresh air. So governments have to follow the advice of experts from a variety of fields and backgrounds before telling a free world what to do in order to stay alive and well. Our natural reaction is to resist but our common sense tells us to comply and most people do and wonder why the odd person thinks they know better and are actively refusing to save lives. Its not easy being confined to the house for most of the day, especially in the sunshine and warmth, but the sooner we do it, we hope it will soon be over.

    It’s certainly given us an insight into how our Tudor ancestors thought and had to cope with things without drugs and vaccinations. They had to self isolate, stay at home, they limited travel and movement, moaned at the authorities, struggling to find food and help, put public health measures in place, fled to the country if they could, everything was closed down, much the same things as we have done. We have no more defensive measures against Covid 19 than the many killers of Tudor pathology. We must recall how helpless we have been, even with our technology and stuff, without thinking them any less evolved than ourselves.

  2. R

    Sweating sickness is probably a virus concocted by Satan in his quest to destroy the human race.
    Jesus warned therie would by pestilences and we have had plenty since he returned to heaven.

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Covid-19 and Sweating Sickness – Are they the same thing?