Our story begins in 1347 and although we don't really know the exact origin, from ancient times there are records of diseases that plagued hundreds of people in specific populations, including absurd things like this story that I told you:
To this day, historians do not agree on the origin of the disease, but many maintain that it was a series of terrible coincidences that prepared the disaster that occurred.
Perhaps the disaster began in Egypt 1,000 years earlier.
In the city of Alexandria, there was the famous Library of Alexandria, its last director was assassinated by a group of Christians in 415 AD.
The church named the man who orchestrated everything saying that the devil was the culprit and not him.
Hypatia's death was terrible, they stripped her naked and dragged her to a church and, there are two versions, in one they beat her to death and in the other they skinned her alive with shells, as her death was terrible and without this brave and amazing woman, the science was forgotten.
With each century that passed, religion and science went more and more hand in hand and by the time the plague came, doctors were more a kind of bleeders than men of science, (even in some places you had to study theology before studying medicine).
But wait, I told you that many factors were causing the catastrophe and another important factor for the pandemic, was when approximately 200 years before the start of the plague, the wife of a Mongolian man named Temuyín was robbed.
And it turns out that that man to get his wife back organized his clan and the thing ended with this man conquering China and his descendants invading Europe.
The world met Temuyín with a more terrible name: Gengis Kan.
Another factor was that in the high Middle Ages, specifically in the year of the plague, in Europe they lived a period of relative prosperity, they had spent a couple of centuries without natural catastrophes, good weather and the population increased and increased.
And now let's go to England, with Edward III.
Edward III's ambitions began to overcome his island kingdom and he decided to invade France in what was the beginning of the 100-year war.
Against all odds he won (the French had more men) and began taking cities in northern France.
To strengthen his position on the continent, he decided to marry his beloved daughter Joan to the crown prince to the throne of Castile.
The girl prepared everything for the trip and ordered a boat to be filled with dresses and luxurious fabrics that came from China.
But there were already rumors of a terrible disease that came from China, including Pope Clement VI herself and religious of the time who saw that the church lost its faithful due to the behavior of priests, took advantage of the situation and scared the population.
They said that in China frogs, locusts and all kinds of divine punishments rained, the priests who were criticized for having legitimate and illegitimate children abused that speech.
With everything and everything, the Silk Road carried ships loaded with merchandise to Europe every day.
The Mongol empire that ran from China to Constantinople was teeming with sick people, yet a Mongol army invaded the strategic port city of Caffa (in present-day Feodosia in Crimea).
And to this day, no one agrees on how the disease arose, but most historians maintain that it came from China and the sailors who fled from Caffa took it to Italy and the disease spread throughout Europe.
And it is that the Mongols after not being able to invade the city, threw their dead with catapults and thus everyone became infected, but nobody knew the origin of the disease, but let's talk a little about the plague, since today we know that it was caused by bacteria.
Yersinia Pestis, (the same bacteria that causes bubonic plague today), that means that the same disease caused by the same pathogen can spread differently throughout history.
But in those days it was said that it was the fault of the planets.
Others said it was because of eclipses, others because God was upset with sinners, others because of toxic effluvia and a long but long etcetera.
But nothing worked and people died, King Edward III's own daughter would die because of him.
The doctors wore scary (inefficient) masks that were thought to prevent the doctor from smelling sick bodies and thus avoid getting the so-called black death.
Because modern strains of yersinia pestis have no significant genetic differences, the key to why so many people died is not in the parasite but in the host, who incidentally died in a terrible way.
Many Italian chroniclers describe the symptoms, Giovanni Boccaccio himself describes that people suffered from coughing attacks, chills, black buboes due to swollen lymph nodes, gangrene.
The priests asked all the inhabitants to go to the church.
Gathering groups of people with a pandemic on the doorstep was the stupidest mistake you could make because that spread the disease further.
But that was not known by the people of the time, it was until the priests began to die, that the people realized that no one was safe.
In Venice the entry of boats was prohibited, and all those travelers with symptoms were placed in isolation for 30 days, eventually extended to 40 days and hence the term "quarantine".
Between outbreaks of septicemic fever and buboes, the streets were filled with corpses.
The priests were no longer approaching anyone, some recommended drinking wine with pieces of the Bible and in Germany it is known that they recommended flogging to be saved, but everything was useless, people died and nothing seemed to stop the advance of the terrible and mysterious disease.
But, the real problem was the lack of hygiene, the rats swarmed everywhere and with them the flea that carried the Yersina Pestis.
Without spiritual guides and inept leaders who took matters lightly, people began to search for solutions through "science".
And I say "science" because without the supervision of religion, the remedies were absurd, rubbing with chickens, ingesting emerald powder, aromatherapy and little by little they discovered that they had to avoid going to infected areas, regulate imports, isolate infected, etc.
Furthermore, it is known that the removal of clothing from the dead was prohibited, suspicions of something in clothing began, and orders were given to burn clothing and bury bodies outside the cities.
It was also found that in winter, the disease spread slower.
In addition the massive events were interrupted, and by massive events I mean the war (the war of 100 years was interrupted by the plague).
officials were forbidden to leave their homes and London was ordered to clean the streets and little by little the plague began to subside.
And until today it is not known how or why that outbreak ended, there were several more throughout the centuries but they were never so lethal.
Many historians maintain that thanks to the plague the rebirth arose but that is another story.
There is no general consensus, but it is believed that at least half the world's population died.
In the Iberian Peninsula there were 6 million inhabitants before the plague, at the end only 2 million remained.
This story leaves us as a message that hygiene is the key, it is important not to spread false rumors or dismiss the information that experts give, unlike the people of ancient times, now we know how to face pandemics and remember that difficult times do not They last, everything happens, and while it can be tedious at times, doing the right thing can save lives, do your part, take it seriously, and this will pass quickly.
See you ALL in the next story. Thanks for your support!!