New research leveraging DNA has identified the origins of the Black Death or Plague that killed half or more of all humans in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa in the mid to late 1300s.(1)
The Plague was introduced to the Mediterranean region in 1347 from ships from Eastern trading centers. Researchers identified tombstones from 1337 and 1337 in Kyrgyzstan whose inscriptions mentioned a mysterious illness. DNA examination of the remains of the dead found traces of the bacteria, Yersinia pestis, which is the bacteria responsible for the plague.
The Plague is very much still around. This bacteria is carried by rodents and transmitted to humans when bitten. Because it’s a bacteria and not a virus, there are medications readily available now for treatment. However, if ignored, the bacteria can still cause critical illness and death. For that reason, it has found its way into chemical warfare arsenals.(3,4)
What’s the point of bringing this up?
There are a lot of things that exist in the world, some of which are known and many are unknown. Some of these are capable of causing economic disruptions and mass fatalities.
Covid-19 in the grand scheme of things may merely have been one of many periodic reminders of how fragile life really is, both socially and biologically. Hundreds of years ago, people could weather crises by isolating on farms and being relatively self-sufficient and self-sustaining for long periods. Most people can’t do that now, and even survivalist resources talk about six-month supplies of food, not decades.
Life truly is a game with no survivors and no guarantees. While one can’t live in fear of what might happen, for each of us, life will have an end, and we don’t know when or how that will occur. Our obligation to our families is to clean up our messes so they don’t have to do it, and allow for the fact that life may have to change quite substantially long before we leave. The life and lifestyle you have now is borrowed, not yours to keep. Contingency planning may allow you to get changes you like, rather than have change thrust upon you that you don’t want.
To paraphrase Socrates, you have to think about the life you lead. To paraphrase, Covid, the time is now.