Books – Mohamed Safwat:
Throughout human history, epidemics have struck with force and human violence, leaving millions of people dead, but in the end it is over. In more than one way the end of the epidemics was written and humanity continued its path towards development and development.
Under the title “How did the epidemics end?” The New York Times sheds light on the history of epidemics documented by history and how it ended, citing the statements of historians who have lived through those epidemics.
According to historians, epidemics have two types of ends, the medicinal that occurs when injury and death rates drop, and the social when the epidemic of fear of disease fades.
“When people ask when is this going to end? They ask about the social end,” says Dr. Jeremy Green, Johns Hopkins University medical historian.
The thing is supported by Alan Brandt, a historian at Harvard University, who believes that the end of the epidemic happened not by his subjugation but by the people learning to coexist with him, as talking about opening the economy depends on the end of the epidemic through the political community and not based on medical data.
The historian at Exeter University, Dora Farraga, sees that, given previous stories in history, the epidemic ends in not being afraid of it, and fear is often more dangerous than the epidemic itself.
In this regard, Dr. Susan Morey of the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin recounted a story in this regard that occurred in a rural hospital in Ireland where she was working in 2014, where more than 11 thousand people died, due to Ebola in West Africa, and the epidemic appeared to be dwindling, and did not No cases occur in Ireland but people’s fear was palpable.
She drew a “New York Times” to an article by Dr. Moore, published in the “New England” medical journal, during which she says: “On the street and in the wings, people are worried, that getting the wrong skin color is enough to spread terror among passengers on the bus or train.”
“When an Ebola patient arrived at Dublin Hospital, terror spread among people and patients, and no one wanted to approach him. The nurses hid and the doctors threatened to leave the hospital.”
Moore proceeded to his treatment on his own, and died a few hours after his arrival, after which we learned that he was not sick with Ebola, and the World Health Organization announced 3 days after his death that the epidemic had ended.
“If we are not prepared to fight fear and ignorance as much as we are and thinking like we are fighting any other virus, fear can cause severe harm to vulnerable people, even in places where you never see a single case, from infection during an outbreak,” Murray wrote. A fear epidemic has far worse consequences when complicated by race, franchise and language issues. “
Black death and dark memories
Over the course of two thousand years, the plague struck several societies, killed millions and changed the course of history, and the fear that accompanied it became doubling, and it doubles more with every pandemic that affects humanity.
The disease is caused by a strain of “Yersinia pestis” bacteria that live on fleas that live in mice.
Bubonic plague, known as black death, can be transmitted from an infected person to another through respiratory droplets, so it cannot be eliminated simply by killing mice.
Epidemics of the Middle Ages
Mary Vissel, a historian at Johns Hopkins University, says that the Justinian plague that first appeared in the sixth century had three different waves, the second in the fourteenth century, and the third in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
In the fourteenth century, the plague killed half the population of China and one third of the population of Europe, and the historian Angulo de Tora, who contemplated the epidemic, says: “It is impossible for a person to tell the truth of this epidemic and its horrific scenes, burying the dead in pits and piles.”
Another says: “People have adapted to the situation, get drunk, exercise their pent-up desires, and ignore it as a colossal joke.”
The plague is not yet gone. In the United States, infection occurs among prairie dogs in the southwest of the country, and it can be transmitted to people, according to what doctors confirm, and people today have not spoken about or feared it.
It is not clear what caused the weak effect of the plague today. There are hypotheses that have not been scientifically proven among them that cold weather killed fleas that live in mice, that mice carrying the epidemic changed, or that the bacteria that caused it became less fierce.
Smallpox and victory with the vaccine
Smallpox is among the epidemics that medicine triumphed over, by providing an effective vaccine against it, despite its persistence for more than 3 thousand years. The virus is not animal, and therefore eliminating it in humans means its death completely .. as well as its symptoms are clear.
In 1977, the last naturally occurring smallpox was recorded by a person named Ali Mao Malin, a chef at a hospital in Somalia, who recovered from the disease and later died of malaria in 2013.
“The epidemic paralyzed the movement of indigenous communities in northeastern America,” said Harvard historian Dr. David Jones in 1633.
William Bradford, the leader of the Plymouth colony at the time, wrote: “If one patient sits on a mat, the blisters that fill his body attach to the mats, and then he starts bleeding.”
The forgotten flu
In 1918, it killed 50 to 100 million people around the world, and it’s not over yet but it has evolved and taken shape that we can live with.
And in the fall of 1918, a prominent doctor, William Vaughan, was sent to the Davins camp, writing that he saw hundreds die and that the virus revealed a lack of human inventions in destroying human life.
Other influenza epidemics followed, and nothing was too bad.
How will the Corona epidemic end?
Historians say that one possibility is that the Corona pandemic can end socially before it ends medically. People may get tired of restrictions and start living their lives as the epidemic spreads and no effective vaccine or treatment is found.
“I think the fear associated with the epidemic is one of the psychosocial issues that lead to fatigue and frustration,” said Yale University historian Naomi Rogers.
This is already happening in some states, the governors lifted restrictions, which allowed the hairdressers and gyms to reopen, in defiance of public health officials’ warnings that such steps are premature.
Dr. Rogers says, there is a struggle over who will decide the end? This is an endless crisis, adding that trying to determine the end of the epidemic will be a long and difficult process.