The mortar & pestle pharmacy signs represent the pestling of our Hippocratic oath by a world that is market driven and aided and abetted by existential fear.
My first memory as a toddler was from my pram: above me I could see a golden mortar & pestle. Peter wondered why a jar of sweeties should be raised so high?
The following post tells you more about Gilbert Farie and the world he faced (click on image of Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson):
From “Living to Tell the Tale” by Gabriel García Marquez: