I have a recurring nightmare about a plague doctor, one wearing the mask and the long coat. I am lying prostate on a low bed, fevered and still, naked beneath a sheet. I am in a big tent, the light like bronze. Outside: spears, swords, arrows, screams, cries of men and horses. The plague doctor, ducking his head, opens the tent, and, through his dark mask looks down at me. I used to wake up there in sweaty fright; now I recognize the dream when I’m having it, and I try to let it progress, try to coax it. It’s progressed a little further. The plague doctor is trying to tell me something, and I lose his words when I look away.
Here, Dr Lindsey Fitzharris talks about the mask, and the plague, as part of her series Under the Knife. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Per1onjC1ug