Write a 2-3 (minimum of 2 full pages. Use a standard professional font – 12 point Times New Roman is best, 1-inch margins, double spaced, no extra spacing) reflection on the video, The Plague. Briefly

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Video Reflection: “The Plague.”


“The plague” video documentary narrates the horrors of the “black death” that took place in the 1340s and spread all over the world, claiming the lives of almost half of the world’s population then (GC RC, the plague documentary, 1:00). During a prosperous time in Europe, the plague hit the golden ages, when all were blooming and industries growing (GC RC, the plague documentary, 1:50). The first case was rumored to have struck in Mongolia in 1947 (GC RC, the plague documentary, 7:17). It ravaged the world, causing negative effects on social, political, and philosophical entities of the time; war, greed, and doubt became the order of the day. The plague is believed to have been caused by a bacteria that lives in small rodents. The bacteria were transmitted through an infected flea bite. The flea had to have fed on an infected creature (GC RC, the plague documentary, 24:37-25:00). The effects were mostly social and economic; many people died; the survivors abandoned their homes, family, and friends who were sick. The noble fled the cities and shut themselves completely from the rest. Burial and funeral rights were performed without much interest or feeling; people were buried in mass graves, incinerated, or just abandoned entirely (GC RC, the plague documentary, 40:00-42:00). Servants stooped working, which led to labor and food shortage. Religious people started having doubts about their faith and blamed themselves for the plague, which led to uncertainty and confusion (GC RC, the plague documentary, 39:20). After years of agony, the plague came to an end. It is believed to have been slowed down by isolating those showing flu-like symptoms and swollen lymph nodes (GC RC, the plague documentary, 17:13). Those who were uninfected were to stay indoors at home to avoid contraction. Sadly, many people had already lost their lives, especially peasants. Consequently, the peasants who survived the plague demanded higher wages and better working conditions from the nobles (GC RC, the plague documentary, 1:16:19). 

What stood out in this docudrama was the different and shocking ways people handled the plague. The uninfected fled from their sick kin, and others punished themselves physically (GC RC, the plague documentary, 39:26). They believed that punishing themselves would make God less angry and save them from the plague. The way people handled the plague made it escalate even further; for example, how they handled the sick and the dead without any precautions made the spread quicker. The flagellant movement led to hysteria, causing more violence and mass murders (GC RC, the plague documentary, 53:30). If only they had considered isolation initially and taken it seriously, maybe so many people would not have died. After watching the video documentary, I discovered that the plague is very similar to our current situation, Covid-19. The cause, flu-like symptoms, and the spread means are almost the same. Luckily, the world population right now is more civilized and has taken measures and guidelines to mitigate the pandemic before it could reach its apex. Staying at home and isolation of patients have slowed down the disease’s spread. Modern medicine and innovation have helped handle and prevent the disease, wear masks, use sanitizers, and have quick and more efficient ways of diagnosing the disease even during its asymptomatic stage. It is believed that most of the people who escaped the plague were nobles because they could afford to isolate themselves; this has taught people to look out for each other during this Covid-19 pandemic regardless of one’s social class to avoid massive deaths.

“The plague’ docudrama shows the spread and effects of the contagious disease in Europe and the rest of the world. Back then, people did not focus on personal hygiene, they lived in deplorable conditions, and they handled the dead without any precautions. This disregard for personal protection heightened the chances of infection and death. Luckily, over the years, people have learned the importance of basic hygiene practices such as washing their hands. During this Covid-19 pandemic, those who have died are being handled with the utmost caution, and the sick are isolated to prevent more infections. All these are a result of lessons learned from this particular plague and others that have come over the years. This documentary is eye-opening literature that helps one see the severity that can occur if Covid-19 precautions and guidelines are disregarded.

Work cited

GC RC 2017, “The Plague Documentary history channel” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgB9qPz7Mz8

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