Essay About Black Death
Have you ever been so sick that it hurt just to move and technology did not provide a cure? The black death did that to people every day of the dark ages and it killed over one-third of the population. It was during the Renaissance Era so there were not many medicines for much of anything back then. Most people were using home remedies to try and cure their loved ones while getting infected with the same terrifying virus. They fought against the disease for their family instead of protecting themselves, and sadly for a lot of them, it cost them their lives. The Black Death killed many people and was a ruthless virus that stopped at nothing to kill everything in its path.
The Black Death first came around in the early Renaissance period and wreaked havoc on the people of Europe and all over the eastern side of the world. It was transferred by fleas that came off of mice that came in on the ships that supplied towns. The fleas carried bacteria that resulted in an infection that later turned into the plague. The mice were the breeding ground for the fleas which spread the disease from person to person. ¨The Black Death is widely believed to have been the result of plague, caused by infection with the bacterium Yersinia pestis¨ (“Black Death”). (¨Pandemic in Medieval¨). It was believed to have been transferred from China and Asia destroying everything in its past as it rolled across the Earth. Having originated in China and Inner Asia, the Black Death decimated the army of the Kipchak Khan Jani Beg while he was besieging the Genoese Trading port of Kaffa (now Feodosiya) in Crimea (1347). With his forces disintegrating, Jani Beg catapulted plague-infested corpses into the town in an effort to infect his enemies (¨Pandemic in Medieval¨). The Chinese people used the plague to their advantage in battles with a village that had walls. They would catapult the bodies over the walls so that the people inside would be infected. It was a war tactic that worked really well, except for the flaw that the army that threw the bodies over was already infected. The armies or even civilians would also get sick by taking the clothes of the deceased, not knowing it would infect them because of the passengers on the fabric. This was another fatal mistake that helped in spreading the disease.
The Black Death was not the only disease killing people during the renaissance period, but it was the most well-known. ¨Most infamous of all diseases of the time was the Black Death, a medieval pandemic that swept through Asia and Europe. It reached Europe in the late 1340s, killing an estimated 25 million people¨ (“Plague”). (National Geographic). The Bubonic Plague was relentless and the most common caused bubonic boils around the lymph nodes. ¨Bubonic plague, the disease’s most common form, refers to telltale buboes—painfully swollen lymph nodes—that appear around the groin, armpit, or neck. Septicemic plague, which spreads in the bloodstream, comes either via fleas or from contact with plague-infected body matter¨ (National Geographic). The Plague does different things to different individuals, mostly because there are three types, but also because everyone’s body works differently to protect itself. The third type of Plague is known as Pneumonic Plague and it is the most significant form of the disease. This form is the only form that can be transferred from person to person through air droplets. ¨Yersinia pestis is extraordinarily virulent, even when compared with closely related bacteria. This is because it is it’s a mutant variety, handicapped both by not being able to survive outside the animals it infects and by an inability to penetrate and hide in its host’s body cells¨ (National Geographic).
The Bubonic Plague automatically makes everyone think of the Dark Ages whenever it is mentioned by anyone. ¨The very idea of the bubonic plague is something we associate with the Dark Ages when tens of millions were killed in the wake of the ‘Black Death’ which consumed Asia, Africa, and Europe in the 14th century¨ (Kugler). When the disease woke up, it did not intend to go back to sleep without causing too much hurt during the century. The disease is still around today but back then technology was not advanced enough to cure it as well as the recent medical technologies can. The reason it was such a deadly disease is that it traveled through the infected person´s lymphatic system. ¨When a human is infected with Y. pestis, the bacteria travel through the lymphatic system and end up in the lymph nodes where it causes painful, boil-like enlargements called buboes¨ (Kugler). These buboes were probably the most painful part of dying from this disease, and they would cause pain every time the person coughed, sneezed, or even moved.¨Without treatment, the bubonic plague will result in death in 60 percent to 90 percent of cases, usually within 10 days¨ (Kugler).
In reality, the Bubonic Plague, or the Black Death as it is widely known, was an incredibly ruthless pathogen that spread across the European continent. It caused a lot of pain and suffering that could have been prevented with the current medicines we have today. Today’s technology has discovered that the Black Death could have could’ve been cured so easily if the right medicines existed back then. The world population at the time was severely threatened and a lot of the human species was decimated. All hope was lost and some people even thought that it was the end of times, but luckily, after years in turmoil, the disease lifted its hold on the human race.