It’s almost the end of 2020 and we do not have pleasant memories in this year. It is COVID 19. A virus that killed more than one million of the global population ended millions of careers and businesses and made hand sanitizers more popular than cosmetics brand.
The earth is 4.5 billion years old and the first life form appeared on earth 3.7 billion years ago. Since then the earth had faced so many pandemics. In this post I am going to tell you about an epidemic that was far more worse than COVID 19.
Black Death or the second plague pandemic is the deadliest pandemic recorded in human history. It had killed about 75-200 million people which was about 10-60% of the European population that lasted during 1346-1353. The disease was called Bubonic plague which caused by a bacteria called Yersinia pestis. According to Giovanni Boccaccio who was an Italian poet at the time, the black death was extremely contagious. Even touching the clothes of the infected could cause infection. People who were perfectly healthy when they go to bed at night could be dead by the morning.
According to the poet at the beginning of malady certain swelling could be seen on the groin or under the arm size of an apple or an egg. Blood and pus seeped out of these swellings followed by fever, chills, vomiting, diarrhea and finally death.
At the end of the 19th century the bacteria was discovered by Alexandre Yersin. But in 1300 there weren’t modern scientific practices as in today therefore people treated the disease with bloodletting, boil lancing and superstitious practices which did not save the infected with the time Physicians did not wanted to visit the patients. Priests refused to administer funerals and last rites. Many healthy people fled their cities and abandoned the sick but they could not be saved. Black Death even affected sheep, goats, cows as well as pigs.
Without proper knowledge of the science behind the disease people believed that it was a punishment of the God. So people believed the only way to ask for forgiveness is to purge their community from heretics. Therefore few thousands of Jews were killed in 1348 and 1349 as sacrifices.
The plague was initially spread throughout the Europe by the merchant ships. Therefore sailors were kept in isolation for 30-40 days whenever they have arrived in a port to make sure they do not carry the plague. This practice helped to slow down the spread of the disease. It was known to be the origin of the term “quarantine”.
Modern sanitation method and public health practices keep the disease at the bay. Even antibiotics are present for the disease but according to WHO there are about 1000-3000 cases are reported every year.
Thank you for reading….. ❤