telophase: (Near - que?)
Over at Twenty Sided, Shamus is wondering if you'd be dead or alive if you were in medieval Europe. (It's also been posted in a few other places, so you might have seen it around the Net today.)

I think he's a bit pessimistic on the age of marriage - it depends on a number of factors, including urban or rural location, wars, etc. - but that's beside the point: in order to entertain me, tell me: would you have survived the Middle Ages in Europe or an equivalent economy/technology level where you would have been? Assume that your health history up to now is more-or-less the same - car accidents being some sort of equivalent accident, etc. - so you didn't die in a plague unless you were, say, me and had MALARIA as a child. :)

I'm really on the edge, but provisionally leaning towards dead. I had the aforementioned malaria at 5, but it was a light case and we knocked it out thoroughly enough that I never had relapses. Which I doubt would have been the case back then (malaria was known in medieval Europe). People can survive malaria for many years, but I think something like the severe malnutrition caused by lactose intolerance in a dairy-based economy would have done me in during a relapse in my early 20s. As I'm in my mid-30s, single, without kids, and working in an academic milieu I assume my medieval self entered the Church at a young age and I resided in an abbey until I died. But that brings up another point: if it was a well-off abbey, I'd have had better nutrition and medical care, so might have survived, if they could figure out that it was milk doing me in.

Off to lunch! I'll read when I come back. :)

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