The Black Death: The deadliest pandemic that scared mankind out of its wits

In the midst of an ongoing pandemic, we take a look at the deadliest pandemic that pushed millions of lives into the depths of death within a few years- the Great Plague.
The Black Death: The deadliest pandemic that scared mankind out of its wits The Black Death: The deadliest pandemic that scared mankind out of its wits
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The year 2020 has not been that lucky for us human species. As we sit tight in the comfort of our homes, hoping to ride out the pandemic, we can’t help but ponder over the fact that pandemics are actually archaic. They aren’t a modern concept as one would like to believe. Throughout human history, historians have glanced at records of ancient diseases which claimed lives at an incredible rate, only to be surpassed by another disease centuries later. Plagues and flus have ravaged mankind and have sometimes changed the course of history, threatening the end of entire civilizations.

If we weren’t any wiser, we would have conformed to the thought that maybe we are a part of some grand design, waiting to be wiped off from the face of earth. While mankind has always been able to bounce back but the scale of suffering and loss is unfathomable. One of the most deadliest and spine-chilling epidemics ever faced by humans was the Great Plague or the Black Death which took place during the Middle Ages from 1347 to 1351. By the time Black Death had ended its grip on the world, 200 million people had died and it would take Europe 200 years to recover from the loss incurred.

 

A bacteria called ‘yersinia pestis’ found in the fleas that infested rats caused the widespread epidemic. A single contact with these flea-ridden rats enabled the plague to infect the human population with devastating results. The depressing fact about the Black Death is that it was the same disease that caused the Plague of Justinian which came back 800 years later and killed with reckless abandon. The plague originally originated from Asia which later travelled to Europe, killing millions in China and the Middle East on its way. 

The epidemic’s physical symptoms were horrifying with victims looking like swollen and decaying corpses. The bubonic plague is possibly the worst of its lot, as it caused slow and painful death which took days or weeks. Only one third of the victims pulled through the epidemic but still their internal organs and immune system were damaged for life.

 

As it was centuries before the concept of germ theory, people blamed the plague on multiple irrational factors such as human sin, divine punishment and poisoned water. The epidemic also fueled racism in Europe. However, in 1894, scientists revealed the real reason for the plague and discovered how to defeat it. While the Black Death wiped almost 30 to 60 percent of Europe’s population, it gave humanity the incentive to fight it through progress and science. 

Here’s hoping just like the Black Death, COVID-19 will become nothing more than a footnote in history books.

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Comments

Human sin and divine punishment is fact..but greatest sinners aren't punished..
Only commoner and innocent suffer ...dear Almighty why don't you punish evil why are innocent Always suffering for no fault

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