[Libre Expression] The Black Death and the Corona virus


From 1347 to 1348 the Black Death had killed about 50 million people in Europe. The major vectors of this plague were the rodents and the fleas. That mega plague had devastated 60% of the population in Europe. The quarantine actually, was devised by the people of that time and the shut down had successfully brought the fruit of their strategy.

However, the symptoms of the Black Death were swelling of the groin, armpit and neck together with dark patches and coughing up of blood. No remedy was found and it was believed to be a divine punishment. The Black Death had started from Spain, France and Italy. It was also given to believe that the plague was being spread at a rate of 1 mile a day.

In the face of such critical situation people had resorted to find a cure against the devastating disease. They used to rub onions, herbs or chopped off snake on the boils or cutting up of a pigeon over the infected parts of the body. In addition, they were also drinking vinegar, eating crushed minerals, arsenic mercury or even ten- year old treacle [molasses].

Regarding the Corona virus, the situation is as grim as it was in the 14th century. Unlike divine punishment it is rather associated to our way of living in a consumer society with a spike in demand for basic needs and for multiple wants. Natural resources are being exploited excessively in order to meet the growing demand of modern society in term of basic needs, wants, entertainment and armaments among others.

The shut down might have enormous economic crisis in the days to come but it is also a relief, for nature from the injuries it has

so long suffered in relation to different types of pollution. Social distancing is a means to bring family members together under the home bound roof. It is an occasion for some parent to narrate some of their past experiences to their wards, eating together without any rush, exhorting children to do well and to avoid mischief, attending to their wards’ requests and after all keeping them within the parameter of the house just to avoid contracting corona virus.

While placing the economy first Donald Trump has led America in a cocoon of miseries.  42,000 horrendous deaths are quite alarming while 800,000  infected Americans are in desperate need for treatment in hospitals, devoid of personal protective equipment and medicaments. There is a glimmering hope for Italy which has a drop in intensive cases.

The aftermath of this pandemic can be catastrophic for it will engender an unprecedented economic crisis. The high demand for food grain may rocket the price significantly. Food exporting countries will prefer to satisfy their respective local market because the gap created during the confinement period will be unbridgeable in terms of food production. It might take much time for the economies to stabilize while in this transitory period hundreds and thousands of workers will be in the abyss of poverty because demand will be more focus on basic needs than wants and entertainment. This will entail the closure of many factories found in the secondary industry.

More than 2.3 million people are infected throughout the world and more than one hundred thousand people have passed away by contracting this fatal disease. The entire world is waging a relentless battle against this gruesome virus. There is a great expectation from our part to see the curve of death rate flattening soon. Meanwhile the best thing to do is to stay at home and try to prepare a kitchen garden in the corner of our land in order to be self sufficient in some vegetables [legume fin], manioc and sweet potatoes which may become our staple food in the near future if the corona disease will be adamant in its devastation.

Cassam Tupsy