Confronting the Plague of Panic
We are passing through a portal of concern the likes-of-which we have not experienced since World War ll. An invisible virus has seemingly shut down the world in many ways. This was unexpected and like other unexpected disasters it strikes fear in the hearts of many. Our forefathers however have endured much worse and not only survived it all but thrived. To thrive in fear there are basic principles of reasoned vigilance that need to be executed along with spiritual awareness.
Pandemic caused Panic in the Past
To gain a perspective on today’s pandemic I would like to examine another pandemic in history. In October of 1347, twelve wooden ships glided slowly into Messina. These Genoese galleys held cargo believed to be from the Crimea, but they also carried a silent disease that would be known as the “Black Death.” The sailors were all dying a hideous kind of death: their ashen-grey bodies were covered in dark sores and their tongues had turned black. The ship was ordered out to sea again immediately, but the virulent disease quickly spread regardless, much like a match being dropped onto a stack of dry straw. In the end, one out of three people in Europe would be dead. In some cities towns and hamlets, all would die.
The plague was the result of flea-infested rats. When the rat dies, the fleas would seek another host vermin, inserting its sticker into the host’s skin repeatedly, at which time, virulent bacilli were injected into the open wound. The results varied from dark sores encompassing the body, to swollen, painful, lymph glands throughout the body — gangrenous inflammation of the lungs and throat, unbearable pain, vomiting, spitting blood and horrifically-foul smelling breath. On rare occasions, a person might survive, but most of the afflicted died within three days. One could wake in the morning feeling perfectly fine, but, by nightfall they would be placed in a burial shroud.