WHILE going through my books (as one does during lockdown) it was interesting to read a poem by the late 15th-century Dunfermline schoolmaster and makar Robert Henryson titled “Ane prayer for the Pest”, with the lines: “Allais that we sowld thus be haistely put doun and dye as beists” and “That nane dar mak with uthir residence”, meaning that no-one dares go and visit with another, surely a very early instance of social distancing from such a long time ago, all verses ending with “Preserve us frome this perrellus pestilens”.

What changes?

Richard Easson