Okay, an honest confession – Lockdown did NOT teach me the word Pandemic. I had known it before and I am allowed to flex, right? After all, there is a whole pandemic history in world, that exists to scare us all. The world has seen various pandemics before. Many are recorded while most probably, some must have been unrecorded or lost in time. It can be rightly said that the deadliest pandemic ever in world history might have been unknown to the other part of the world, right?
But before we dive into knowing about the pandemic history in the world, let’s begin with the word itself. The word “Pandemic” consists of two Greek words- ‘pan’ meaning ‘all’ and ‘demos’ meaning ‘people’.
Currently, the world is hit by a deadly pandemic called the “Coronavirus”. This virus originated in China and has rapidly spread worldwide. Also, it has affected the economic growth of all countries. Impact of Covid-19 Pandemic on India has also been devastating. The lockdown and pandemic brought to light the inequality and poverty of people, the privilege that many of us have been blessed with, the loopholes in our healthcare system, and so on.
In nature, there are neither rewards nor the punishments. There are consequences. – Robert G. Ingersoll
The Scary Pandemic History in the World
It is not the first time that humans are facing the wrath of nature. Nature has been rude at times. There are various events in history when nature had shown its anger in some way or the other.
Let’s read about some of the pandemics that occurred in the past and mercilessly killed many people across the world.
The Plague of Athens (430-426 BC) –
This was the most disastrous pandemic in Classical Greek History. The outbreak of this plague was first observed in 430 BC in Ethiopia during the Peloponnesian War. It gradually spread to all parts of Greece. During the war period, many people came to settle down in Athens. Thus, due to crowding, Athens became the breeding ground of this pandemic which killed nearly one-quarter of the population at that time. This plague not only weakened the economy but also gave rise to many superstitions among the Greeks.
Antonine Plague – The Plague of Galen (165-180 AD) –
Killing about 5 million people in 14 years, this pandemic was first reported in Seleucia, Rome. This plague affected the military troops of the Roman Empire the worst. They, unintentionally, spread this disease across the whole city of Rome. This plague weakened the economy so much that the Europeans were compelled to go back to nomadic life.
Bubonic Plague – The Plague of Justinian (541-542 AD) –
It originated in Africa and made its way, through the trading routes, to Egypt and the Mediterranean. People suffering from the plague had buboes on their skin. The plague proved to be a devastating disease, taking the lives of about millions of people.
Seven cholera pandemic has occurred in the past. This disease is spread by the intake of water and food contaminated with the bacteria that causes cholera. The traces of its first outbreak were found in India. According to the data from WHO, there are 1.3-million to 4 million cases of cholera every year and 21000 to 143000 deaths worldwide.
The Black Death (1346-1353) –
This one is believed to be the greatest disaster in the history claiming the lives of about 75-200 million people in Eurasia and Africa, comprising of about 60% of the population. Black spots with some fluid oozing out from it were the main visible symptom of this disease along with high fever. Even the animals were not spared from this disease.
Spanish Flu – H1N1 Influenza A Virus (1918-1920) –
This disease was caused by H1N1 Influenza and took lives of about 50 million people worldwide. It arose during World War I and it is known that diseases spread like wildfire during wars. Spain, which was not a part of the war, started giving reports on this disease. Hence, people thought that the disease had first originated from Spain and thus, the name Spanish flu.
Asian Flu – H2N2 Virus (1956-1958) –
Started in China, the number of deaths peaked to as high as 1 to 4 million during this pandemic. Although the vaccine for this disease was discovered in 1957 it still infected a huge amount of the population.
Hong Kong Flu – H3N2 Virus (1968-1970) –
First cases of this flu pandemic were recorded in Hong Kong and soon spread across most of the countries like India, Australia, Europe, etc. The flu was highly contagious and led to the death of about 1-4 million people globally.
SARS-CoV (2002-2004) –
First identified in Nov 2002, this plague was rampant in China and spread to about 30 more countries. However, its death rate was quite low (around 774 deaths across the globe) in comparison to other diseases. Also, not even a single case has come since 2004 but still the effects of the pandemic scared the whole world.
Swine Flu – H1N1 Virus (2009-2010) –
Traces of this disease are still present till today but due to its vaccine, the condition is under control. This flu first appeared in April 2009 in Mexico and is an airborne disease, it spread very fast across the continents. Nausea and fever are some of the common symptoms of the disease. Vaccination and practising social distancing can help us to prevent the deadly virus from spreading.
People thought they could explain and conquer nature – yet the outcome is that they destroyed it and disinherited themselves from it – Vaclav Havel
The memories of these pandemics from the pandemic history in world make us shiver. However, the humankind fails to decode the message nature is trying to give us. It is better to learn from our mistakes than to regret later. Development OR Destructing Environment? we must introspect. It is our responsibility to take care of nature and not destroy it to fulfil our needs. Otherwise, the end of humankind might come soon.
As the cases of Coronavirus are rising, we, at Blogger Bunny, would request you all to be safe and to follow social distancing strictly. Until we are all vaccinated, eat healthy food to boost your immunity. We will all soon be able to overcome this.
BE SAFE. TAKE CARE.