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Black Death: The English Quarantine... Finally

The Black Death hit England in 1348, but it isn't until this year that Parliament passes a quarantine law to fight the Black Death. From the beginning people have been isolating themselves from the sick but now the government has taken on the responsibility to isolate the sick. Italian port cities have had active quarantine procedures for a long time now, with mixed results depending on how the quarantine is run. Locking up a dying family member with his entire family is reminiscent of the Pharaoh being buried with all his servants. There were always a few servants who ran away. Exposed family members who run away will spread the disease more quickly so a balance needs to be struck. [1] [2]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
In 1900 San Francisco initiated a panic quarantine to stop an outbreak of the bubonic plague after delaying for two months... hoping upon hope it would all go away, but when the number of cases suddenly shot up, they went overboard focusing on Asians causing all sorts of resentment in the Chinatown community. Check the link below [3] for the details on what they did, what went right and what went wrong.

If the US were to experience a major pandemic right now we are not prepared to hold a large number of the "exposed" in quarantine. A good person will not want to go home to expose his entire family. What is he supposed to do? Camp out? Maybe. Having an "exposed tent" in the backyard might work if one's family has not been exposed. Private citizens could organize to quarantine themselves... paying for warehouse space, partitioning it, setting out cots and sending out for pizza. Anyone who develops a fever can pick up their cot and move from the "exposed" section to the "possible infected" section. Anyone who becomes obviously sick can be shipped to the hospital. [4][5]

The Hero of Hungary

The Ottoman Empire has been threatening Hungry for years now. While the Hungarian King managed to beat them back, the old King has been long dead. A couple of years ago John Hunyadi was named commander of the forces defending the southern reaches of Hungary from the Ottomans. This area, now known as Serbia, is a natural gateway into the greater Hungarian region. John has adopted the mobile tactics of the Hussites... the very people who had given the previous King of Hungary such a headache. Now the Ottoman Turks are hurting as John takes the city of Nish. He will go on to many victories and become the Hero of Hungary. [6] [7] [8]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
John Hunyadi is not winning major victories but a series of smaller ones and those victories are stirring hearts throughout Europe. He will pull up short next year when the Ottoman Turks whip his forces at Zlatitsa Pass... a battle fought in the snow... and then again, when the Hungarian king is killed at the Battle of Varna. An uneasy peace will settle in as John Hunyadi is named regent for the new infant King of Hungary. John's son will rule Hungary as Matthias Corvinus in 1458. [9] [10] [11]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1443, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. New York: Simon and Schuster. 1991. p. 206-207. (BOOK) Quote: "Eng. plague order on quarantine and cleansing."
  2. Preventive Medicine -- Encyclopedia Britannica. 2014 [last update]
  3. Kinyoun, J.J. and Wyman, Walter. Plague in San Francisco (1900). Public Health Reports, 2006 Supplement 1, Volume 1. (PDF)
  4. Alex Shrugged notes: The “exposed tent” idea is my own but the warehouse idea is not. Unfortunately I can't remember where I heard it so I welcome a reference so that I can properly credit the people who thought of this. It sounds good to me.
  5. Bruzek, Alison. Here's How An Ebola Quarantine Works In The U.S. - 88.5 WFDD. October 3, 2014. (WEB NEWS)
  6. Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. New York: Simon and Schuster. 1991. p. 206-207. (BOOK) Quote: "János Hunyady, the Hungarian national hero defeats the Turks at Nish."
  7. John Hunyadi - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  8. John Hunyadi (The Long Campaign) - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  9. Battle of Varna - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  10. Matthias Corvinus - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  11. Crusade of Varna: The Long Campaign - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]

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