Venetian Epidemic

Although much more lethal than the Covid-19 that ravaged the Veneto and the world early this year (2020), the plague of 1575-6 was exacerbated both there and elsewhere by a misguided quarantine. In the Venetian archives can be found evidence of this, when a certain Rocco Benedetto gave testimony in the Venetian Senate to avoid such things if his city did not want the same devastation during a plague in 1630 as that which occurred in 1576–a week-long lockup of every family in their homes.http://venetian-bibliography. (see author Paolo Prieto) For what it did was tantamount to barbarism–throwing thousands of already infected, but unknowing, carriers into houses where the contagion spread like wildfire in such close confines. Turning homes into veritable caskets.

Ironic in the sense that Venice practically invented 40-day quarantines of both goods and people suspected of being so contaminated. That Venice pioneered the establishment of dedicated lazzaretti in their lagoons to keep all contagions at bay. And it was Rocco Benedetti’s speech which some believed kept the plague of 1630-31 from killing only 1 in 4 instead of 1 in 3 as it did in 1575-6. In effect, it might have saved over 2000 lives. But how would this apply today? you might ask. Did not the strict house-bound quarantine of millions of people work in China? It might have, I’d answer, but how many died needlessly? Would you believe what they would say to that? Exponentially, I would think, the victims’ voices silenced forever. But we can do something about it here in the USA! Trace the paths of contagion like Venice did then. Plan on where triage centers (lazzaretti) would be, large ones, and how to stock them and man them, and have tests in place to diagnose those who shows signs or tracking and get them there for their sake. And Not to their Homes, for their family’s sake. See article about how safe homes are during Covid-19 By Chris Smith


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