September 8, 2009
Early Modern History MWF 10-10:50
Response Paper 1
The Black Death
And How Society Dealt With It
Giovanni Boccaccio talks about the Black Death in The Decameron a whole lot not only about how many people it killed, but also some treatments, funerals, and also how effective it really was. The sick during this time were ignored by mostly everyone. Not even family of most sick would try and care for them because they feared that they themselves would catch this terrible disease. Another thing that I found very shocking is that even parents would leave there own children if the child was to sick and hopeless with the disease.
The community really did not care too much about a sick individual either, and those that did try and help the sick really had no medical background at all. Even if someone would catch the disease early during its early stages they were also hopeless because the doctors just did not care nor did they want to touch a sick patient. People also left the city all together leaving behind families and loved ones. This is very selfish you might say, but put yourself in a healthy persons shoes during this time. You wouldn’t try getting the heck out of there too? I know that I would be.
Boccaccio also said that whenever one did die they would be treated comparable to animals. Also sometimes dead bodies would sit for days or weeks before they started to smell so bad that someone would notice them. This is one of the sickest and unsanitary things I have ever heard. Whenever a dead body is found rarely ever would they have funerals, just dig a trench and throw numerous bodies in it. If they did have some kind of service it was very uncommon for family to show up. This sounds very crazy to me because that person did not ask for the disease probably could not have done anything not to get it, and for the family not to show up that shows no respect at all.
The Black Death is one of the most terrible diseases...
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