If I grew up in Europe in the fall of 1347, I would be mortified to step outside my house. Why so? A bubonic plague (AKA The Black Death) had taken over and rapidly killed millions of people in the European nation. I would not have been able to make it out alive. This article states it perfectly, “the mortality caused by the bubonic plague of the Black Death was the worst demographic disaster in the history of the world.”
There are three forms of plague all caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis: septicemic, pneumonic (lungs), and bubonic (the most well-known and common). Symptoms include fever, pain, chills, fatigue, coughing up blood, black boils, and many more horrendous effects to the body. Luckily, chances of another bubonic plague like that happening are slim. The plague is still living among us and occasionally, there are cases where do die from it, unfortunately, but nowadays we have better sanitation, better medicine and vaccines, and overall a better understanding of how to handle the disease.
It’s no mystery how the Black Death had culturally changed the world in many ways, for good and bad. It had social, economic and cultural impact. The same article states, “the effects can be measured and responses traced not only in social and economic, political and religious terms, but also in changes in art and architecture. The effects of the Black Death in all these matters were disputed by contemporaries and are still hotly disputed today, which makes the topic so endlessly fascinating.”
The Black Death had spread so quickly in such a short amount of time. One reason the epidemic had been so strikingly successful could have been due to famine. This article states, “A widespread famine that weakened the population over decades could help explain the Black Death’s particularly high mortality. Over four or five years after arriving in Europe in 1347, the pandemic surged through the continent in waves that killed millions.”
This matters to the modern Minnesotan because it matters to everyone. It’s important to know the effects of plague and how to be educated on what to do if a bubonic plague breaks out again. We just have to continue to be resilient when it comes to the subject of plague.
“BBC – History – British History in depth: Black Death: The lasting impact.” BBC News. BBC, n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2017.
“Factors in the Emergence of Infectious Diseases – Volume 1, Number 1-January 1995 – Emerging Infectious Disease journal – CDC.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 08 June 2011. Web. 22 Apr. 2017.
Peter Reuell, Harvard Staff Writer |, Liz Mineo, Harvard Staff Writer |, Hannah L. Robbins, HSCI Communications |, Alvin Powell, Harvard Staff Writer |, and John Laidler Harvard Correspondent |. “Did famine worsen the Black Death?” Harvard Gazette. N.p., 05 Jan. 2016. Web. 22 Apr. 2017.