Historic Pandemics

To say that the COVID 19 pandemic dramatically changed most every aspect of life on planet earth in 2020 is akin to saying that Lake Havasu City is warm in July. Decades of medical breakthroughs, a myriad of over the counter remedies that allow us to power through bouts of the flu or stomach ailments, and a flood of information about home remedies, real and wacky, via the internet have given us a sense of invulnerability. One of the most dramatic changes to society resultant of this pandemic is an awakening that something as small as a virus can defeat militaries, economies and even science. 

There have been worrisome viral outbreaks in the past century. Some such as AIDS still plague us. With the development of vaccines others that once caused death and societal disruption have been brought under control. Still, since it has been more than a century since we faced a pandemic with the potential of COVID 19, we had been lulled into a false sense of security. 

Even though the vicious viral pandemic known as the Spanish Flu that swept the world in the late teens resulted in the deaths of millions, it pales in comparison to historic plagues. Still it had a mortality rate as high as one in five and an estimated one-third of the world population was afflicted with permanent or long-term afflictions. 

As an example of historic pandemics, consider the Plague of Justinian. Historic evidence indicates that in the year 541, rats on Egyptian grain boats brought a pestilence to the Eastern Roman Empire. Before it had subsided, historians estimate that approximately 25 million people had died. It struck the rich and poor, and even the emperor himself, Justinian I, was debilitated by the disease. Records indicate that at its peak 5,000 people died in a single day in Constantinople, the empire’s capital. Estimates are that forty percent of the city’s population died. This was the first recorded outbreak of the bubonic plague. 

Around 700, Japan had instituted a highly advanced system to document outbreaks of disease, isolate infected communities, and track contact. As a result, the smallpox epidemic of 735-737 is well documented. The disease was first noted in the northern prefecture of Kyushu that year and persisted into the next. By 736, so many farmers had died or been debilitated, crop yields plummeted and that led to spreading famine. Few things attest to the resultant societal disruption more than the fact that in August 737, a tax exemption had been extended to the entire country. Based on records, adult mortality for the smallpox epidemic of 735–737 has been estimated at thirty percent of Japan’s entire population.

Plagues and pestilence are as much a part of life as death and taxes. At least once in every lifetime there will be one that shakes us to the core. But there is no need to face the crisis with false bravado or paralyzing fear. With Force Shield your confidence can restored. 

Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America  | Sponsored by www.ForceshieldFog.com

 

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