3 Ways the Dancing Plague of 1518 is Relevant Today

If you have never heard of the Dancing Plague of 1518, I suggest you go and search it up and read about it. It’s insane. Basically, during times of major adversity, people began dancing in the streets. Others saw the dancers and “caught” the disease, leading to massive crowds of dancing individuals unable to stop. Some even died of heart attacks from overexertion and exhaustion.

Crazy, isn’t it? I thought so. But even though it’s pure madness, I learned a few things about life after reading about this plague:

1 – People have the potential to believe anything.

If you heard about a disease that causes people to dance until death, would you believe it? Maybe not in this day and time, yet there’s still a lot of junk out in the world that we still buy into. Read everything cautiously and always have skeptical eyes. Belief is more powerful than we can even begin to understand, so be careful what you allow yourself to believe.

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2 – “Insanity is contagious.”

This is a quote from the book, Catch 22. It’s the absolute truth and the Dancing Plague is a prime example. Insanity catches on, so beware. Keep your head screwed on tight or you just might lose it like everyone else.

3 – Poverty can cause massive, deadly stress.

The sad truth about this plague is that it was likely caused by arduous days. People struggled and starved and turned into dancing machines. Several even died. Stress is a horrible monster that leads people to insanity.

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Thankfully, though most of us have financial stress among other types of stress, we’re not starving and fighting in revolutions. We have the power to get our stress under control and we should, as soon as possible. Most stress leads to negative effects on the mind and body. Maybe you won’t go insane and dance for hours in the streets, but stress will cause you to lose your mind, and life, in other ways.


On a less serious note, the Dancing Plague taught me that I should be grateful I don’t live in the year 1518. In fact, I’m lucky I wasn’t born until the 1990’s. Be grateful that we live in a less medieval era in the human history book.


Again, I urge you go read about the dancing plague. It’s highly interesting.

Thank you, and go learn about life today.

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