Black Death and the Coronavirus

Coronavirus- the modern Black Death. 5 ways to protect yourself

The Black Death was the “first disastrous wave of epidemics”, according to Benedictow.

What was the Black Death?

Also known as the Pestilence or the Great Plague. The plague started in 1347, resulting in the deaths of approximately 200million people, and end in Europe between 1347 and 1351.

It is believed that the Black Death originated in Central Asia or East Asia. The bacterium Yersinia Pestis, responsible for the Plague, was probably carried by fleas on the back of rats to Europe.

It is believed that between 30% and 60% of the population of Europe died because of the plague. It took 200 years to restore the population to the original level.

What has the Corona Virus to do with the Black Death?

Probably nothing, except that the origin for the Coronavirus is believed to be from bats and the bacterium from rats or fleas. Both are from animals. The Coronavirus is also as deathly as the bacterium Yersinia Pestis.

More about the Corona Virus

Although the Coronavirus was discovered in the 1930s, it was in chickens, causing bronchitis symptoms. The coronavirus is present in animals ranging from chickens to camels. Different animals have different strains of the virus.

The Coronavirus was diagnosed in humans in the 1960s, as a common cold.

The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a new strain discovered for the first time in humans in 2019. It is believed that two strains of the Coronavirus combined to form SARS-CoV-2 which is responsible for COVID-19. The virus shows similar characteristics as the virus found in bats. It is still unclear what happened to cause this evolution of the virus and why it jumped from an animal to a human being. It takes between 1 to 14 days to develop symptoms. The most common symptoms are coughing, fever, tiredness and difficulty in breathing.

Difference between the Black Death and the Corona Virus

We live in modern times. Even though it will take a long time to develop an effective vaccine, we had the opportunity to build an immune system that can withstand many onslaughts. Presently approximately 80% of the patients survive. We will all eventually get the virus, (the same way we got cat flu or bird flu) but, even though many will die, you do not have to be part of the statistics. One thing we can learn from the Black Death. Although so many people died, life carried on. We will also survive the Corona Virus.

5 Ways to protect yourself from the Corona Virus

1. Do not panic.

Panic creates stupidity. Stay focused. Watch what you do and how you do it. Keep your distance.

2. Change your way of life.

Do not lean on counters when purchasing something. Sterilize trolley handles before starting the shopping. Keep hands away from the face.

3. Wear gloves and a mask.

Gloves will not protect you, but it can prevent you from contamination. Use gloves safely. Contaminated gloves are as dangerous as not wearing gloves at all. Do not touch your face with your gloves. When arriving at your car after shopping, put the groceries away. Take the gloves off the proper way before opening the door to get into the car.

To take gloves of safely is to remove the first one inside out. Then use the inside of the glove to remove the second one. Remove the second glove inside out, folding it over the first glove.

4. Food hygiene

Remember the carry bags and even the food itself may be contaminated. After unloading, allow the parcels to be in a safe place for as long as possible before handling. Goods like meat should be placed in the fridge. Leave it for a few hours before touching. After putting the goods away, wash hands and even arms properly.

5. Improve your immune system.

Eat healthy. The stronger your immune system is, the better chance for survival you have. See my article on What to Eat to Strengthen your Immunity System.

Life will get back to normal, but like with the Black Death, it will never be the same as before.

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