As human civilization develops and the population explodes day by day, the environment is also degraded. From cleaning the house, the way people eat is no longer “fresh” as before.
Animals that are susceptible to disease such as mice, falls, lice. proliferate and live with humans. Along with the open trade between countries has opened the way for a series of terrible diseases to be born. Including the plague – the “Black Deαth” of humanity.
The mysterious appearance of two comets
Congressman Samuel Pepys, a leader of the British Navy and Member of Parliament, is world-famous for his diaries.
The diary of Samuel Pepys is considered a valuable historical document about the plague.
He meticulously recorded three of the most important events in English history: the plague of 1665 – 1666; The Great Fire of 1666 and the Anglo-Dutch War from 1665 to 1667.
In his diary, he once mentioned two comets that appeared in the sky of London. One comet appeared in late 1664 and one in early 1665. At that time, astrologers thought it was a sign of evil coming to England. However, few people understand that it is not the devil but the “god of death” named the plague that is about to come and take the lives of not only the British people but also the whole of Europe.
Origins of the “Black Deαth”
Three of the deadliest pandemics ever recorded were caused by a bacterium – Yersinia pestis, also known as the plague bacterium.
The first occurrence of bubonic plague is attributed to AD 541 in Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire (Egypt). The plague then spread throughout Europe, Asia, North Africa and Arabia, killing an estimated 30 to 50 million people, about half of the population at the time.
800 years later, this epidemic has returned and left Europe in turmoil in the “Black Deαth”. Specifically, in October 1347, when 12 ships from the Black Sea arrived at the Sicilian port of Messina, the people present at that time encountered a horror. Most of the sailors on these ships were dead, the survivors were also seriously ill, covered with black boils that oozed blood and pus.
The Sicilian authorities quickly brought the fleet of “death ships” out of port, but it was too late. The plague spread rapidly, claiming the lives of 200 million people, equivalent to 60% of the population of Europe and 33% of the population of England.
According to some opinions, lice and fleas are thought to be carriers of the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis in squirrels, rabbits, mice and chickens.After killing large numbers of rodents, fleas and lice will carry bacteria to find a new mediator, which is human.
Painting depicting plague.
When “there is no one left to infect”, it is thought that the epidemic will also “die” with it. However, 10 years later, from 1348 to 1665 with 40 outbreaks within 300 years in London. Each outbreak, 20% of men, women and children die from this terrible disease.
In the early 1500s, England implemented the first law requiring the segregation and isolation of sick people. Families hit by the disease will be oiled with a bale of grass hanging from a stick outside. If someone has a relative who has the plague, he or she will have to carry a white cane when going to public places.
By 1665, this was also the last outbreak of the disease but also one of the worst outbreaks in centuries, killing 100,000 people in the English capital in just 7 months.
Senator Pepys once wrote in his diary, August 1665, describing his trip to Greenwich: “On the way I saw a coffin with a corpse in it, died of the plague, in the middle of a field of the page Coome camp Maybe the body was dumped there last night and the parish didn’t appoint anyone to bury it Instead – cruelly – they put a man on watch day and night, warning no no one is allowed to visit, including the family of the dead. This plague has made us more cruel to each other than dogs…’.
All recreational activities were strictly prohibited at that time and patients were required to stay inside. Although it was barbaric to “lock” the sick in their homes and bury the bodies in mass graves, it was the only way at the time to make the last outbreaks of the deadly disease deadly. This ends.
Strange doctor uniform like “death”
In the despair of the epidemic, European countries established a team of plague doctors.
They do not need medical training or very little experience, they just need to be brave people, ready to rush into epidemic areas to count the dead instead of treating the disease.
Because for a long time, no one knew exactly what caused the “Black Deαth”, so people often believed in ghosts or even the medical community themselves blamed the “mimic theory”. That is, the plague spread through the stench of corpses.
Painting of a plague doctor in the 17th century.
This set the stage for the birth of the bizarre protective suit used by doctors and became a haunting symbol when referring to the “Black Deαth”.
Accordingly, the suit was invented in 1619 by Charles de l’Orme, the chief physician of the French king Louis XIII. Includes an ankle-length hooded cape, breeches, shoes, hat and gloves. All were made of fragrant goatskin and covered with a hard white tallow to prevent the victim’s bodily fluids from seeping through.
Included with the protective suit is an accessory that is a beak-shaped mask with a “nose up to 15cm long” filled with herbs such as cloves, mint, camphor and myrrh. The purpose is to eliminate the smell of dead bodies. The two holes in the eye position are covered with glasses.
When on duty, doctors also often carry a long wooden stick to examine the bodies without contact, or to scare people away when they want them to keep their distance.
Unfortunately, this suit is likened to the costume of the god of death, but it does not work to prevent the infection of the plague. It even makes the wearer feel hot, secretive and sweat-proof. As a result, many doctors were infected and died.