Thursday, 15 July 2021

Over The Past Few Years A Word Keeps Appearing,


I knew it meant to isolate, but only today I have leant when and how the word was first used, photograph Rob Schmitz/NPR in present-day Dubrovnik, Croatia, there is a ancient walled city atop the cliffs of the Adriatic Sea, the Republic of Ragusa, as it was known then was among that era’s wealthiest merchant cities, and it wanted to maintain that status, but with the plague raging in Europe the city fathers had to think of a way to stop the disease spreading to the city, they came up with a plan to force visitors to wait on one of the many desolate islands off the coast for 40 days before they were allowed to come ashore, and here it is, they called it quarantino, the Italian word for a 40-day period, a length of time historians believe was inspired by biblical events, such as when Jesus, in the New Testament, fasts in the wilderness for 40 days, or the 40 days and nights of rain that flooded the Earth in the story of Noah’s Ark from the Hebrew Bible, the above photograph shows the view from one of the quarantine cells, Ivana Marinavić, is the education coordinator at the Lazarettos, and comments that punishment for breaking quarantine 500 years ago was chopping off the offender's ears or nose and sometimes death, there are displays of old tools that guards used to ensure social distancing such as poles with spikes on the end of them, and one of the earliest forms of contactless payment, a cashier's desk with a hole carved into it, "The money would fall into the drawer through this hole," she points out. "They were avoiding to touch the money." For the full fascinating story, have a look here.

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