Of all bizarre creatures in that imaginary space that is Greco-Roman myth, Phoenix, the fabled, long-lived, cyclically re-born bird who knows how to go out (and come back in) with a bang, has to be one of the most remarkable and mysterious ones.
Turns out, the majestic creature was a bit of a recluse, who practised social distancing long before it was cool, and thus managed to avoid the threats of contagious diseases (Claudian. carm. min. 27, transl. M. Platnauer):
haec fortunatus nimium Titanius ales
regna colit solusque plaga defensus iniqua
possidet intactas aegris animalibus oras
saeva nec humani patitur contagia mundi.
This is the kingdom of the blessèd bird of the sun where it dwells…
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