The Great Plague of London started in the city in 1665. It was not a virus, but a bacterial infection also known as the Bubonic Plague. But let’s not let the facts get in the way of a good story. At this time, Isaac Newton was a student at Trinity College, Cambridge. To escape the Plague he took the precaution of self isolating to the family farm at Woolsthorpe Manor, Lincolnshire. There, with no distractions from You Tube, Facebook or Twitter he produced ground breaking work in mathematics and physics.

First of all, he developed the mathematics of fluctuating quantities, known these days as calculus.

Next came optics and he was able to demonstrate that white light is a combination of many colours of the spectrum.

Finally, he turned his attention to gravity and the laws of motion which resulted in his universal theory of gravitation. Legend has it that the inspiration for this part of his work came when an apple fell on his head whilst sitting in the garden at Woolsthorpe.

I am not sure what exciting scientific advances will be developed during the current Covid 19 lockdown but I am sure there will be nothing to match the efforts of Isaac Newton back in 1665.