By Makenzie Walsh
COVID-19 has been obliterating us for the entire year. Because this country has no idea how to behave, people see the virus as a political opinion, and the smooth-brained science deniers are getting themselves killed believing it’s enlightenment. Yes, the whole pandemic is a horrible, hopelessly inescapable nightmare. Still, there are a host of other terrible diseases that, once we look at them, we can at least be glad that we don’t have Debra verbally abuse the seventeen-year-old Walmart minimum wage employee because it’s her ‘right’ to get the Bubonic Plague, vomit blood all over her bratty children and die in agony.
- Since the intro mentions the Bubonic Plague, it is only fair that we start there. Nowadays, this disease is very rare, but back in the 1300s, the plague slaughtered 50 million Europeans. The most well-known symptom of the infection is the lymph nodes. They can become as big as a chicken’s egg, and can be tender and warm. The plague also can result in chills, fever, headache, fatigue, and muscle aches. Of course, the deaths that result are particularly horrible, for apparent reasons. It was at its peak for around eight years and has haunted the planet since then. As I mentioned before, it’s rare now, but not gone. You could be next. Count your days.
- Smallpox has been generally eradicated, yet it is still known to be contagious and deadly, disfiguring its victims like a substance-abusing mad scientist undergoing a divorce. We have a vaccine that can prevent it, but there isn’t a cure, so if you end up getting diagnosed, say goodbye. It spreads by air, in coughs and sneezes, alongside saliva, blood, and skin, which would make it as easy to catch as a thief who left their driver’s license at the scene of the crime back when it was at its peak.
- Cholera is a bacterial disease best known to spread through water. It is fatal if it isn’t treated as soon as it’s noticed, and one symptom the disease has is dehydration, which is ironic as it spreads via water, but, surprising to absolutely nobody, it gets worse. Cholera can also cause shock and seizures in more extreme cases. Nausea and vomiting also occur, but they aren’t exactly as threatening as, say, hitting the cheap carpet and violently seizing. Oral rehydration therapy, antibiotics, and IV fluids are all used to treat this disease.
- The Spanish Flu, also known as the 1918 flu pandemic, caused 50,000,000 deaths. Rookie numbers. It’s incredibly unlikely that the Spanish Flu is Spanish. People have suggested that it originated from China, France, and Britain, but we still are not one-hundred percent sure which country it is. The thing is, there’s a genuine possibility that between these three, the origin of this murderous flu was none of the above, and instead came straight out of the United States. The first known case was reported to be in a military base in Kansas, so it isn’t very farfetched. The only reason it is called what it is because the newspapers in Spain were free to report the disease’s effects. Because of the country’s ability to report on it, this paved the way for the Spanish Flu’s name to become known. This disease was so violent since it triggered a cytokine storm, which destroys and ravages immune systems.
- Let’s have something more recent, this time around. In January of 2009, the Swine Flu had almost 500,000 confirmed cases, but there are many more suspected cases, up to 1.4 billion of them. It acts like the flu would under usual circumstances, fevers, headaches, sore throats, so on, but despite this, it still managed quite the kill count, as pandemics and plagues always do.
Now that we have completed this article, we can pull the plug on its life support. Hopefully, this article inspired interest in finding out more about diseases throughout the world and history or at least gave some perspective about our current situation.