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Donald Trump and the ‘soulstealers’

Donald Trump and the ‘soulstealers’

In the eighteenth century, during the most prosperous period of the Qing dynasty’s rule, mass hysteria broke out in the empire’s commercial capital over rumours that a band of sorcerers were roaming the countryside chanting incantations and stealing their souls. There are instructive parallels between China’s sorcery crisis of 1768 and the Trump administration’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our not so distant past

Our not so distant past

The dead-carts have been replaced by hearses and the bodies are burnt rather than buried, but this scenes are not altogether dissimilar to those depicted by Daniel Defoe in A Journal of a Plague Year.