The Black Death versus COVID-19


B Versus C


B Plague Versus the C Virus

The Black Death -B
The Black Death was a devastating global epidemic of bubonic plague that struck Europe and Asia in the mid-1300s. The plague arrived in Europe in October 1347, when 12 ships from the Black Sea docked at the Sicilian port of Messina. People gathered on the docks were met with a horrifying surprise: Most sailors aboard the ships were dead, and those still alive were gravely ill and covered in black boils that oozed blood and pus. Sicilian authorities hastily ordered the fleet of “death ships” out of the harbor, but it was too late: Over the next five years, the Black Death would kill more than 20 million people in Europe—almost one-third of the continent’s population..
Link to reference on HISTORY

The COVID Virus -C
The COVID Virus, a devastating global pandemic of a newly formed (strain or type) of corona virus. It is currently (April 16, 2020) striking with 1,991,562 global confirmed cases with globally, 130,885 deaths. (5 months for C as compared to 5 years for B)
The virus arrived to Europe and the western world in January 2020, when travellers arrived home from visiting infected areas. Most people did not show symptoms for weeks. Those that died had their breathing greatly restricted, having to be placed on a ventilator. Countries across the world hastily ordered airports and global travel to cease. But it was too late, over the next few months thousands of people would become infected. Many would die.

WHO-COVID-19 Information
WHO-Health topics

How Did The B Plague Start?
Even before the “death ships” pulled into port at Messina, many Europeans had heard rumors about a “Great Pestilence” that was carving a deadly path across the trade routes of the Near and Far East. Indeed, in the early 1340s, the disease had struck China, India, Persia, Syria and Egypt. The plague is thought to have originated in Asia over 2,000 years ago and was likely spread by trading ships.

How Did The C Virus Start?
Even before COVID-19 had reached Europe and Western shores, many countries had heard rumours about the Corona Virus that was carving a deadly path across Wuhan City, China.
On 31 December 2019, the WHO (World Health Organization) China Country Office was informed of cases of pneumonia of unknown etiology detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. The outbreak began in a seafood and poultry market in Wuhan, a city of 11 million in central China. Like SARS and MERS-CoV, the newly detected coronavirus has a zoonotic source, however, human to human transmission has been confirmed. On March 11, 2020 the WHO declared COVID-19 viral disease a pandemic.
The Virus is thought to have originated in Asia, likely spread by travel.
Reference for information from IPAC Canada

Symptoms of the B Plague
Europeans were scarcely equipped for the horrible reality of the Black Death.
“In men and women alike,” the Italian poet Giovanni Boccaccio wrote, “at the beginning of the malady, certain swellings, either on the groin or under the armpits…waxed to the bigness of a common apple, others to the size of an egg, some more and some less, and these the vulgar named plague-boils.”
Blood and pus seeped out of these strange swellings, which were followed by a host of other unpleasant symptoms—fever, chills, vomiting, diarrhea, terrible aches and pains—and then, in short order, death.

Symptoms of the C Virus
Countries were scarcely equipped for the horrible reality of the COVID-19 virus if patients required ventilators for final stages of the disease.
Fever (signs of fever), Cough (new or exacerbated chronic), Sore throat, Runny nose, headache. Were the symptoms to watch for. Challenges with breathing eventually could lead to death.

What does B and C attack?
The Bubonic Plague attacks the lymphatic system, causing swelling in the lymph nodes. If untreated, the infection can spread to the blood or lungs.
The COVID-19 virus attacks the respiratory system. Restricting air exchange. Eventually causes collapse of the respiratory ability of some patients.

How Did The B Plague Spread?
The Black Death was terrifyingly, indiscriminately contagious: “the mere touching of the clothes,” wrote Boccaccio, “appeared to itself to communicate the malady to the toucher.” The disease was also terrifyingly efficient. People who were perfectly healthy when they went to bed at night could be dead by morning.

How Did the C Virus Spread?
The COVID-19 is indiscriminately contagious. “the mere touching of clothes” Extensive hand washing has made it possible for people who were perfectly healthy when they went to bed at night will still be alive in the morning……

Okay so the biological make up of the diseases are very different. When you look at epidemiology, the spread and the approach to pandemics, there are many similarities and they are hundreds of years apart………

What has been will be again,
What has been done will be done again;
There is nothing new under the sun.

Reference for Quote “under the sun”

The first time I heard the phrase “there is nothing new under the sun,” I said pffftttt. Baloney, what of innovation? What of change?

It is now a phrase I reflect on often.” There is nothing new under the sun.”

Yes I do believe there is change, and innovation does occur, however we are constantly reminded of how;
history is our teacher,
our present is the student
and our future is the collaborational sum of them both.
This is the key……human beings need to be engaged, they need to want change for it to occur…..

The example of the Black plague and COVID is interesting. While we have advanced in technology – like hand washing for example- and with equipment and medicines. Many approaches, processes, the methodology of approaching these diseases….hundreds of years apart is very similar.

The engagement of people, the restriction of contact the focus on the health of your neighbour…..these are changes under the sun that are fantastic in my view. We can share information in a timely manner, real time information is available. What are we doing with it……does it make a difference that we see current day stats? Or that we receive the information by ink written or scratched letters or notes ? Or verbal discussions or rumours that are weeks and months later?

Our current situation, should be driving us to change, to learn, to move forward…..

What do you think? Anything new under the sun?

I am certainly looking not looking for the “A” ……for now the B and the C ……are enough….

Keep looking for the gems……

Function of the Hand
Ode to Healthcare Workers -COVID 19
WHO-COVID-19 Information
WHO-Health topics
Reference for information from IPAC Canada

Blog about COVID


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