Essay Example on That is a quote from the Florentine poet Petrarch









He even remarked that he envied future posterity whom would not believe the horrors of the Black Death Laura Petrarch's beloved was one of the 25 50 of the people in Europe's population that died from it The Black Death is thought to have started its European infection in 1348 on the shores of Italy and occured in three different variations bubonic plague pneumonic plague and septicaemic plague There are some disagreements over whether only one form or all caused the epidemic in Europe but most historians believe it was a mix of the three since all derive from the same virus Yersinia pestis The bubonic plague receives its name from the swellings or buboes it causes to first form around the neck armpits and groin later they spread to anywhere on the body They typically range from the size of an egg to the size of an apple and life expectancy after this symptom was usually a week Other symptoms included vomiting and fever which in some cases caused the victim to suffer hysteria and crazy fear 

One misconception about the bubonic plague is that it is spread by rats it is actually spread by fleas Granted they are fleas who have been feeding off of infected rats However as the rats begin to die from their own epidemic the hungry rat fleas turn to humans That is the only way that the bubonic plague was spread This information explains why more people in the rural parts of Europe than urban parts died of bubonic plague there are more rats in farms than in the city The pneumonic plague was spread by humans This variation affected the respiratory system and was the deadliest mainly because it spread so easily You needed only to breath in an ill person s exhalation in order to acquire the disease It was the cause of small towns in Germany Italy France Spain England and other countries being wiped out Most people only lived for 2 3 days after getting the virus One of the more gruesome symptoms is the coughing up of blood Both the bubonic and pneumonic plagues if left untreated could and still can lead to the septicaemic plague which poisons the blood system Although it is usually only spread by fleas it could also be spread through an opening in the skin that touched the garments of an infected person Symptoms include fever chills and blackness in skin and other tissues Another Florentine writer Giovanni Boccaccio wrote The Decameron In his story seven men and three women ran away from Florence in hopes of evading the plague He notes many changes in society and people's behavior as the epidemic swept through the city 

Some alienated themselves completely from society or simply ran away to places that hadn't been exposed yet thus helping the disease spread even faster Others stayed in their towns and looted abandoned villas and bars Still others tried to live life as normally as possible stepping around the bodies of people who had dropped dead on the streets and carrying herbs in their pockets and handkerchiefs to help with the smell Boccaccio also remarks that family friends and neighbors abandoned each other without shame fathers and mothers refused to see and tend to their children as if they had not been theirs The only ones left to care for the sick and dying were the clergy There are many things we still have today that originated from the plague For example a famous nursery rhyme Ring Around the Rosie is a sort of story and warning of it The first line describes the buboes that would cover your body if you were sick a ring around the rosie rosy pink part of a swelling Pocket full of posies refers to flowers that people would carry around for the aforementioned smell 

The next line ashes ashes warns you to cremate the body though this was not always done because the disease was still contagious from a corpse We all fall down simply states that most people would die from it The plague doctors were not always good doctors Most of them were second rate inexperienced and in one case a fruit seller They were hired by cities with many cases of the plague so they served the poor and rich alike One of their main jobs was recording all the deaths and performing autopsies in order to try to better understand the disease They wore long waxed robes and a beaked mask which gave them the nickname Beak Doctor The mask contains flowers and herbs that filtered the air so they would not inhale their patient s dirty air Socially the doctors didn t interact much partially because they scared people and partially to help contain the disease To conclude the Black Death was a very scary time for the Europeans Epidemics were reported until 1353 It may have caused many people to die but it did something much worse as well strike fear and skepticism towards strangers and family alike in the heart of every European for years

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