Locked doors, a falling economy, starving children and dying people leave me wondering, is it COVID-19 which brought a halt of never-ending hush-bush of life or have similar pandemics happened in the past? The moment I started digging deeper, I found the present situation better than others, or in some cases, I felt worse than others.
Throughout history, disease outbreaks have ravaged humanity, sometimes changing the course of history and, at times, signalling the end of entire civilizations. There have been many worse epidemics and pandemics, dating from prehistoric to modern times. The course of nature itself is quite strange. The repetition cycle of 100 years for every pandemic or endemic leaves us asking many questions which are still unanswered.
Dating back to prehistoric times, circa 3000 BC shows us the example of an epidemic which wiped out a prehistoric village in China. The bodies of the dead were stuffed inside a house that was later burned down. No age group was spared, as the skeletons of juveniles, young adults and middle-aged people were found inside the house. Archaeological and anthropological study indicates that the epidemic happened quickly enough that there was no time for proper burials and the site was never inhabited again.
Another plague of Cyprian dated back to AD 250–271, the Plague of Cyprian is estimated to have killed 5,000 people in a day in Rome alone. The Black Death: 1346–1353, wiped out over half of Europe’s population. The bodies of victims were buried in mass graves. The plague changed the course of Europe’s history.
Others include the American Plague of 16th century, Great Plague of London (1665–1666), Russian Plague (1770–1772), Philadelphia Yellow Fever Epidemic (1793), Flu Pandemic (1889–1890), American Polio Epidemic (1916), Spanish Flu (1918–1920), Asian Flu (1957–1958), AIDS pandemic and epidemic (1981–present-day), H1N1 Swine Flu pandemic (2009–2010), West African Ebola epidemic (2014–2016), Zika Virus epidemic (2015–present-day).
The 2009 swine flu pandemic was caused by a new strain of H1N1 that originated in Mexico in the spring of 2009 before spreading to the rest of the world. In one year, the virus infected 1.4 billion people across the globe and killed between 1,51,700 and 5,75,400 people, according to the CDC.
The very current Novel Coronavirus, which emerged from Wuhan, China, has 14,41,128 confirmed cases till date out of which, approximately 3 lakh have recovered and 82,992 people have died.
In India, the very early precautions and preventions that were taken by the government to stop the spread seem miraculous. Even though the cases are rising day by day, till date, the numbers have reached 5,195 confirmed cases, whereas 402 have recovered and 149 people have died.
This fight needs everyone together, this fight needs to build faith in humanity, this fight needs to understand that we all can survive, and we hope we will sail if we take care of every possible dos and don’ts at present. After all, we all know, it’s temporary, we all will resume our lives once again.