cholerae

Everything that belonged to her husband made her weep again: his tasseled slippers, his pajamas under his pillow, the space of his absence in the dressing table mirror, his own odor on her skin. A vague thought made her shudder: ‘The people one loves should take all their things with them when they die.’
—  I’m only 50 pages into Love in the Time of Cholera, and it’s already killing me.

It’s the 1830s, and do we have dance crazes for you! Not only is the can-can all the rage, so too is the Galope! Very, very vigorous versions of which exist - not just the Galope Infernal, but also rather bad-taste fun like versions based on the cholera epidemic. This one looks like a reasonably sedate version. 

Le Charivari, 10 April 1833 by F Lehnert

To him she seemed so beautiful, so seductive, so different from ordinary people, that he could not understand why no one was as disturbed as he by the clicking of her heels on the paving stones, why no one else’s heart was wild with the breeze stirred by the sighs of her veils, why everyone did not go mad with the movements of her braid, the flight of her hands, the gold of her laughter. He had not missed a single one of her gestures, not one of the indications of her character, but he did not dare approach her for fear of destroying the spell.
—  Love in the Time of Cholera. Gabriel García Márquez (6th March, 1927 - 17th April, 2014)
Mamy po kilkanaście lat, cholera to jest dopiero początek naszego życia, powinniśmy wstawać każdego ranka z uśmiechem na ustach, bo każdy ranek to nowy początek. Nawet widząc deszcz i mgłę za oknem. A my zakrywamy kołdrą głowę i najchętniej nie wychodzilibyśmy z łóżka.
I zwasze jest tak samo.Spotykasz go przypadkiem lub znasz go niedokładnie.Patrzysz, myślisz'cholera, ładny jest'.Obserwujesz go coraz bardziej, widzisz go coraz częściej.Czasem w nocy o nim pomyślisz, czasem jego imię tak jakoś, samo ci się napisze.Po kilku miesiącach powiesz komuś'O, on mi się podoba'.Potem uświadamiasz sobie, to coś więcej niż podoba.Chyba się zakochałaś.Starasz się trafić do jego życia.Czasem się uda, czasem nie.Trwa to już długo, może 8msc. może rok.Wiesz już, że się zakochałaś.Tylko że to nie jest kurwa bajka i na końcu dowiadujesz się, że on mocno kocha inną.Tak mocno jak ty kochasz jego...

Twenty-three year old Viennese woman, before and after contracting cholera

One mid-19th century report describes cholera victims who were “one minute warm, palpitating, human organisms - the next a sort of galvanized corpse, with icy breath, stopped pulse and blood congealed - blue, shrivelled up, convulsed”. Cholera causes profuse vomiting and diarrhoea, dehydrating the body so rapidly and severely that the blood thickens and the skin becomes deathlike and blue.

Image from the Wellcome Archives

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Traditionally, water symbolizes life and renewal, but in Sierra Leone it is also a vehicle for epidemic and death — the focus of photographer Mustafah Abdulaziz’s project “Water Is Gold,” which documents the causes and effects of the country’s recent cholera outbreak.

Last year, Sierra Leone experienced the worst cholera outbreak in its history, Abdulaziz writes for the Pulitzer Center, which funded his trip. There were 20,736 cases of cholera with 280 deaths since the beginning of 2012, he adds.

Abdulaziz spent most of his time in and around Freetown, Sierra Leone’s capital, which, he writes, was “built to support less than half the current population of 2 million.” The slums are overcrowded, unsanitary and sprawling — the perfect breeding ground for the disease.

Sierra Leone’s Water Of Life – And Death

Photo Credit: Mustafah Abdulaziz

To him she seemed so beautiful, so seductive, so different from ordinary people, that he could not understand why no one was as disturbed as he by the clicking of her heels on the paving stones, why no one else’s heart was wild with the breeze stirred by the sighs of her veils, why everyone did not go mad with the movements of her braid, the flight of her hands, the gold of her laughter. He had not missed a single one of her gestures, not one of the indications of her character, but he did not dare approach her for fear of destroying the spell.
—  Gabriel García Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera