The Black Death
The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 75 to 200 million people and peaking in Europe in the years 1346–53.
In 1340-something the Black Death reached Europe and XX were to die. What caused it? Fantastic theories started: ‘a rain of frogs, serpents, lizards, scorpions and many venomous beasts’; ‘a punishment from God’; ‘a corrupted atmosphere’. With no understanding of infectious disease it was all bad guess work. Weird that hundreds of years later when another terrifying plague – Ebola – hits then the speculation and suspicion breaks out again. And it’s not just in the remote villages of Africa. The press carries many stories of ‘what you’re not being told’; the US is accused by North Korea of developing the virus to maintain power over the world and it’s no wonder that the affected people were so suspicious of aid from outside. Are we really any better informed now? We still have a lot of rats and many have less than four legs.