History of Pandemics

Plagues and pandemics have been around since the dawn of life upon the Earth. The earliest recorded pandemic started in ancient Babylon around 1200 BC which spread to Mesopotamia then to central and southern Asia which scholars believe to be a strain of the flu (influenza). The deadliest epidemic in history was the Black Death (Yersina Pestis) that occurred from 1346-1353 and decimated nearly 60% of Europe’s population and ranged from Europe to North Africa and Asia. In earlier history we had the Spanish Flu outbreak of 1918 and lasted to 1920 and 100 million lives were lost but this disease was worldwide unlike many others.

Today we have the novel Covid-19 better known as the Corona Virus which started in Wuhan,China during 2019 and has caused us all to be quarantined in our homes. The use of the word quarantine comes from the Venetian Italian word quarentena or”forty days” which once designated the time that all ships in the harbor were required to stay isolated before the ships were allowed dock and their passengers were permitted to come ashore during the Black Death plague.

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