“In the year then of our Lord 1348, there happened at Florence, the finest city in all Italy, a most terrible plague; which, whether owing to the influence of the planets, or that it was sent from God as a just punishment for our sins, had broken out some years before in the Levant; and after passing from place to place, and making incredible havoc all the way, had now reached the west; where, spite of all the means that art and human foresight could Suggest, as keeping the city clear from filth, and excluding all suspected persons; notwithstanding frequent consultations what else ins to be done; nor omitting prayers to God in frequent processions: in the spring of the foregoing year, it began to shew itself in a sad and wonderful manner;” (Bocarrio pg. 29-40)
The Black Death, who hasn’t heard about this particularly devastating plague. Now the exact cause of this incredibly infamous plague has been disputed from back then to even now. The interesting part however is despite the plague becoming easily curable it hasn’t exactly faded away.
As this recent article states here, the Bubonic plague is still active, and has ended the life of at least one individual in the United States as of June 2015. The question is, how in the world did a person die from a easily curable plague. The most likely reason for this would have to be either poor hygiene, or the person thought he/she wasn’t very sick. Causing them to not seek the proper treatment at a hospital.
Now considering the vector for the plague, flea bites, that means that any animal with fur/hair can be a carrier for the disease. Its also been hypothesized that this is a natural phenomena like polar shift, or air currents changing. The point is that we know what most likely caused the plague as compared back to the past where the Catholic Church, the main authority, blamed pets, and Jewish people for the most part. Aside from tons of death happening, this hysteria caused people to lash out or do somewhat unreasonable things like the fictional 10 Florentines written about in The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio, a surivor during the plague. As quoted above his book mentioned exactly,who was affected by it young and old, rich and poor, everyone basically. (Bocarrio pg. 29-40)
The point is however the plague has come out of dormancy and it can be dangerous. So don’t panic, use proper hygiene, and get treatment as quickly as possible. Modern antibiotics were made to deal with this after all. Incidently this matters to Minnesotans specifically because during winter due to lower temperatures, people stay inside more often,so the rate of catching any aliment skyrockets due to proximety.
Boccaccio, Giovanni. The Decameron. New York: Penguin Group, 1982.