When a thing is around for such a long time something inevitably happens to it.And it is for this world. Pandemics and epidemics are not a new occurrence. The world has seen breakouts of pandemics and epidemics running as far back as the Greek or Roman civilizations. While it has, more often than not, claimed thousands of lives , we, as a civilization have not only moved on from these challenges but also have tried to look a the bright side of things.
With the current pandemic in progress, why not look back at a few which mankind had to face in the past.
EPIDEMIC VS PANDEMIC
While there are different terms to refer to the spread of infectious diseases, the epidemic is generally used to define the spread of a disease within a region or a community. The pandemic, however, is not restricted to a certain region, but instead travels to different countries or continents.
MEMORABLE PANDEMICS AND EPIDEMICS FROM HISTORY
1)PLAGUE OF ATHENS
The plague of Athens took place from 430 BC to 426 BC. This pestilence fell upon Athens when it was at a war with Sparta in the Peloponnesian War. They were within reach of victory when the outbreak of the epidemic started in the crowded city of Athens. It resulted in the death of thousands of its citizens.
This plague is popular for the moral and religious upheavals it left in its wake. The people who were already in a miserable condition felt that their gods favored Sparta and had abandoned them. There was a huge shift in power as poor people began to inherit money from their deceased relatives. Many abandoned and rebelled the existing law and order, realizing that they would never get to reap the benefits of being a good citizen anyway.
2)WEST AFRICAN EBOLA
The Ebola epidemic outbreak lasted from 2013-2016 and is one of the most widespread outbreaks of the Ebola virus in Africa. It was mostly concentrated in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
Most of the spread is said to have been caused by improper disposal of the bodys. With this in mind, the WHO had to release special protocols that were tailored to the needs of all concerned religions and their traditions regarding body burial and while the virus itself is still a concern,this particular one was contained by the extensive measures and efforts of the WHO, UNICEF and other authorities which included contacting all schools on their reopening and handing out soaps and hygiene products to hundreds of people.
1)THE BLACK PLAGUE
The black plague is definitely one of the most well-known pandemics in the world and peaked during the 14th century . It took almost 30-60 percent of Europe’s population with it.
The black plague or the Bubonic plague is believed to have first started in Asia where it killed many before its arrival in Europe. It is said to have spread from fleas carrying the ‘Yersinia pestis’ virus and are said to have arrived resting on the back of rats. The black plague arrived in Europe for a total three times left devastation in its wake.
While the black plague is said to have caused the Renaissance in Italy ,it has, nevertheless ,been argued that the renaissance was mostly concentrated in Italy whereas the plague itself was spread throughout Europe.
The smallpox pandemic affected the world largely because no one ever saw it coming. It was caused by the Variola major and the Variola minor. The disease itself causes scarring and potential blindness in its victims. Although it caused such a panic, the last known outbreak of the disease was in 1978. The WHO officially declared the global eradication of smallpox in 1980.
An ongoing pandemic that isn’t the COVID-19
Aids was first identified in the 1980s when people started looking into the mysterious deaths of previously healthy men. Following years of thorough research, it was determined that the the disease was not spread through casual contact. In addition to spreading through sexual contact it is known to spread through the breast milk of an infected mother or using unsterilized needles previously used by an infected person.
Of all pandemics famously caused the discrimination of Gay people as a result of it first being seen among Gay men and couples. Aids was then found among heterosexual couples and furthermore, it was found among drug users too.
As of now, two people have been successfully treated OF the HIV/AIDS but it remains a concern among the general public.