In the previous article we talked about the Bubonic plague that overran the world during some ages thousands of years ago, and then it started to appear again in the sixth and the seventh centuries AD, killing twenty five million and twenty five thousand people.
As for the fourteenth century, the epidemic overran Europe in (1347-1352) AD, killing one third of its population!!
In the book, “The Black Death”, Eustis Hecker, the German Doctor, talked about the report of the Surgeon Guy de Chauliac who challenged the danger of the Black Death Pandemic through his continuous aid to causalities, ignoring the excuses that infection justifies escape. He mentioned: “He witnessed the plague two times in Avignon, (a city in Vaucluse province southeastern of France), first in 1348 AD … Twelve years later in Fall, when he returned from Germany, in which terror and general distress spread out for nine month. At the first time the plague spread out between the poor, but in 1360 it spread out mostly between high classes. Furthermore, it destroyed a lot of children who had survived it before…”
Lots of places in France got infected; the survival rate was two of each twenty people!! The plague overran the capital, in each place whether a palace or a cottage: “Two queens and a bishop, as well as a lot of prominent people were victims of the plague. Also more than five hundred people were dying at Duo hotel per day!! The nuns of the charitable associations cared for the victims, as they were very brave and didn’t care about the dangers. During the times of horror and terror, the best qualities of the human virtues are revealed.” Although the plague caused the death of many nuns but their service to the sick have never abated.
Accordingly each time and place, at times of distress and danger, we find hands extended with good and aid to others, without caring for their own harm but they show the greatness of humanity to all humans.
Hecker describing the massive numbers of people died in Europe: “Instantly, burying the bodies (infected by the plague) was banned at churches or its arenas. Thousands of dead people were placed in layers in six large holes outside the city, like what already happened in Cairo and Paris. Despite that, there were lots of people buried secretly!! Throughout ages people are still tied to burying their dead in graves, they never abandoned their habits in burying their dead.”
Egypt was no better off, as the Black Death pandemic overran it, Dr. Seif Al-Nasr Abu State mentioned: “The Geographic place of Egypt to be in the middle of the three continents, made the country connected strongly with the history of diseases. Egypt is the great global bridge through which passengers and merchants from all over the world used to pass by long times ago.” The Plague Pandemic showed up many times in the years (1347, 1609, 1801, 1812, 1834-1836, 1855-1950 AD). It invaded Egypt through the commercial ships which carried infected rats.
Hecker described the plague in Egypt: “These symptoms were seen in Egypt, where Pneumonia was widely spread; the lungs used to be destroyed quickly, with severe high fever, and puffing (spitting) of blood. Here too, the breath of the sick people became a deadly infection, and the human aid was useless! It was also deadly to those who got closer to infected people!!”
Ibn Taghribirdi mentioned about that period: “In Shaʻban, the epidemic increased in Egypt…to the extent that people were unable to count the dead … In Shawwal, people began to puff blood; as a person would feel a severe high fever, accompanied by nausea, and puffing of blood. His successor dies (whoever follows him from the infection), then all his family follows one after the other, until they all perish after one night or two. No one was left, but thought he would die with that plague. So all people started to get ready and do charity deeds, leave their responsibilities, stayed away from each other, and just worship God. No one during the epidemic time needed drinks, drugs, or doctors due to the speed of death!! Shawwal didn’t reach its mid; unless roads and markets were filled with the dead … By the end of the year, that epidemic spread out to all Upper Egypt, but didn’t enter Aswan, in which only eleven people were dead …”
Stories about Beautiful Egypt never end!
Head of the Coptic Orthodox Cultural Center5 August 2020