A friend of mine shared on Facebook today about her little one playing ‘Ebola Tag’ at school. Apparently one kid starts out as “it,” as usual. However, when they then tag someone else, they become “it” too. Then where there was once just one “it,” there are now two “its” who go forth to infect their world, creating more “its” until everyone’s “it.”
Sounds like a scene from The Strain.
But when I mentioned it in humor to my 17-year-old daughter, she says “Oh yeah. That’s a real thing. Everyone’s been talking about it at school.”
Because that’s what we humans do. This is how we deal with fear, death and illness.
Or at least that’s what it would seem, with the speculations around the history of nursery rhymes like “Ring Around The Rosie.” The popular nursery rhyme and kids’ game said to have actually originated with the terrible Black Plague in the mid-1300’s.
Though it seems that Snopes disagrees on RATR’s origins:
“How anyone could credibly assert that a rhyme which didn’t appear in print until 1881 actually ‘began about 1347’ is a mystery. If the rhyme were really this old, then ‘Ring Around The Rosie’ antedates even Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, and therefore we would have examples of this rhyme in Middle English as well as modern English forms.”
The article goes further to speculate that RATR might instead have origins in a rebellious reaction to a religious ban on dancing. Who knew?
Still if ‘Ebloa Tag’ and the Zombie Apocalypse can fill our every day culture today, who’s to say what our future generations might think about their origins? One fictional with a fandom and one real and in debate.