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Black Death vs. the COVID-19 Pandemic

Black Death vs. the COVID-19 Pandemic

Comparing the Black Death to the COVID-19 pandemic brings to light a few similarities between the two. One similarity is that both the plague and coronavirus were spread through respiratory droplets. Even if the plague had to first be transmitted from flea-infected rats to humans, human-to-human transmission took place when an uninfected person inhaled respiratory droplets from an infected person. The same case applies to coronavirus, whereby in direct human-to-human transmission, the virus is spread when an uninfected person inhaled droplets from an infected person (Shamekh et al., 2020).

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Another similarity is the impact that both events had on the economy. The Black Death caused a huge decrease in the labor market after it claimed an estimated 200 million lives (Patterson et al., 2021). Similarly, COVID-19 had significant economic devastation, especially after lockdowns and quarantines were initiated worldwide, leading to the closure of most businesses (Shamekh et al., 2020). Lastly, the number of lives that both events caused is similar. Even though the plague claimed more lives, back then, they did not have enough technology and advancement to fight it. However, during COVID-19, the world should have been able to easily contain the virus, but unfortunately, this was not the case due to avoidable circumstances. Suppose everything was done appropriately; the number of people who died would have been significantly less. As such, comparing the times in history in which both events took place, the number of casualties is similar.

Learning about the Black Death after I experienced the COVID-19 pandemic impacts me differently in that I can relate to and understand what people who came centuries before me went through. Fortunately for me and my generation, we only get to read about most of the devastating things that happened in the past, like two World Wars, the Holocaust, slavery, and segregation, just to name a few. However, this is not the case for the Black Death because I have had a similar experience and have an idea of what people went through back then.


Patterson, G. E., McIntyre, K. M., Clough, H. E., & Rushton, J. (2021). Societal impacts of pandemics: Comparing COVID-19 with history to focus our response. Frontiers in public health9, 630449.

Shamekh, A., Mahmoodpoor, A., & Sanaie, S. (2020). COVID-19: Is it the black death of the 21st Century? Health Promotion Perspectives10(3), 166-167.


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It is difficult to read about the Black Death and not think about recent events with the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a post of at least 250 words, share your thoughts on the following:

Black Death vs. the COVID-19 Pandemic

Black Death vs. the COVID-19 Pandemic

In what ways is the Black Death similar to the COVID-19 pandemic?
Does learning about The Black Death impact you differently because of your experience with COVID-19? How?

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