Jan. 6th, 2009

girlnamedxena: (dr. horrible)
I've read three chapters in my textbook on the Black Death (it's title is actually "Black Death." How creative is that? My other textbook for the class has the same title) and it is completely horrifying. Of course, I already have pretty good background knowledge about it, but actually looking into it in detail... eugh. I really, really wish this was fiction, it's that depressing. At the same time as I read about how people reacted it totally makes sense with my understanding of humanity. It also makes me think of the whole 2012 paranoia, and this is what I have to look forward to if something bad actually does happen.

I've also come to the conclusion that the zombie apocalypse isn't really that different from the black death. The reason why zombies are so scary is that they can still kill you even though they're dead and they kill indiscriminantly and without remorse, as well as the fact that no one really understands why or how they exist. The best estimates for the number of Europeans who died from the plague is about 33%, though in some areas it was as high as 60%, which means that the dead would have outnumbered the living. Those killed by the black death didn't reanimate, but medieval people thought that one could get the disease simply by being in the same room as an afflicked person or even touching one of their possessions, which is more or less the case, since the fleas that carried one of the strains could survive without a host for months, if need be. People who died of the plague could and often did infect people after death. The black death was everywhere and completely out of control before people had fully grasped how dangerou it was. During the height of the plague the streets were lined with the dead, families were abandoning their sick relatives, or even their healthy ones in the hopes that isolation would protect them; they left behind their homes, crops and livestock. Anyone who tried to help the sick almost always died themselves. Rabies among dogs became a problem in some areas because everyone was too busy worrying about people to deal with sick animals. Some measures taken against the plague may have helped but they were employed to late. Most importantly, people's reactions to zombies are often quite similar to people's reactions to the black death.

So, hoards of dead people? Check. Disease that continues to be dangerous after it's killed its host? Check. General panic? Check. Almost complete helplessness? Check. People fleeing infected areas? Check. Sounds like a zombie apocalypse to me.


girlnamedxena: (Default)

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