No one had ever imagined that they will be facing a pandemic in their lifetime. The COVID-19 has led the whole world to shut down and killing millions of people worldwide. Compared to the previous pandemics, this has been the fastest-growing taking a large number of lives. So, let us look at the history of pandemics that the world has dealt with in the past. With population growth, humans began to flourish as people started living close by. People started eating plants and animals not understanding that it can lead to side effects generating various kinds of viruses. When an epidemic crosses the border of the country, it turns into a pandemic. Some of the worst pandemics in the history are:
1- Plague of Justinian:
In 541 AD, the Plague of Justinian spread across the Byzantine Empire. Many say that it was originated from China or India and made its way through the country via sea trading activities. Fleas and Black Rats acted as the carriers who are found in ships. When these animals snacked on the food grains, it spread to people everywhere and killed around 50 million people which was around 25% of the world population at that time. The plague ended after the majority died and no one was left to die.
2- Black Death- the one which introduced the concept of Quarantine:
In 1347, the plague hit Europe after 10 ships reached to the shore getting sea traded items. People who went to receive them were shocked when they saw every human on the board was dead with black boils covering all the body. The ships were sent back but the infection had already infected the country. The country did not understand the concept of contagion but understood a little about the infection. After anyone showed any symptoms of the disease, they were immediately isolated until they recovered. The Black Death killed around 200 million people in a span of four years. Everyone then went in a 40-day Quarantine which proved to be effective.
3- The Great Plague of London:
From 1665-1666 an epidemic broke out in London which was started in China. The virus was caused by Yersinia pestis bacterium that is majorly carried by infected rat fleas. Everyone started getting bruises and coughing blood. If anyone in the family got infected, the whole family was locked together and then the bodies were thrown into the sea. Around 100,00 people died and the plague slowed down by itself as the temperature got chiller.
Even though smallpox has been completely eradicated, it had already created a lot of damage. The virus started in South Africa where it was contagious and spread through the air. It would affect a person’s bone marrow, spleen, and skin. The epidemic started in Egypt where they spread it to the Hittites thereby destroying the civilization. Due to trading, the virus started spreading all across the world and killed more than 500 million people. Statistics show around 3 people out of 10 were killed and anyone who had the infection was left with scars.
This year, pandemics and coronavirus are the most searched keywords. Finding a vaccination for a pandemic is not that easy and takes years to develop. For COVID-19, almost a year has passed but we still do not know when the vaccine will be out. The pandemic has not only lead to loss of life but has also affected the economic conditions of every country. Countries with poor wealth infrastructure had to face a lot of issues. Many people lost their job and were pushed into poverty. Crimes all over the world increased. A decade ago, we expected 2020 to be the future of mankind with robots and flying cars. However, now it seems like nothing is certain.