5 Hard-Earned Lessons from Past PandemicsBreaking News
tags: public health, pandemics, medical history
Humankind is resilient. While global pandemics like the Bubonic Plague and 1918 pandemic wreaked havoc on populations through the centuries, societies honed critical survival strategies. Here are five ways people adapted to life amid disease outbreaks.
The first quarantine was passed into law in the port city of Ragusa (today’s Dubrovnik) on July 27, 1377, during the Bubonic Plague, or Black Death. It stipulated: “Those who come from plague-infested areas shall not enter [Ragusa] or its district unless they spend a month on the islet of Mrkan or in the town of Cavtat, for the purpose of disinfection.” Doctors at the time observed that the spread of the Black Death could be slowed by isolating individuals.
Quarantine played a large role in how 20th-century American cities responded to the outbreak of the 1918 influenza pandemic, or Spanish flu, following the return of soldiers from World War I. In San Francisco, naval arrivals were quarantined before entering the city. In San Francisco and St. Louis, social gatherings were banned and theaters and schools were closed. Philadelphia became a test case in what not to do when, 72 hours after holding the ill-fated Liberty Loan parade in September, the city’s 31 hospitals were at capacity following the superspreader event.
comments powered by Disqus
- Richard Pildes: Our Elections are Too Frequent for Democracy to Work
- Latinos Forgotten Victims of US Nuclear Testing
- How America Lost the Commitment to the Right to Vote
- The Job of Honoring the Dead at an Oklahoma Native School has Fallen to the Alumni
- Remembering Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards, and his Merciless Roasting of David Duke
- Daphne Brooks on Truth-Telling Music
- Today It’s Critical Race Theory. 200 Years Ago It Was Abolitionist Literature
- Is the US Ready to Stop Being the World's Policeman?
- ‘Historical Distortions’ Test South Korea’s Commitment to Free Speech
- The Epically Terrible Star Wars Holiday Special: An Oral History