Deakin Communicating Science 2016

EES 200/101

The Circle of Death

In my last two blogs I talked about how people cannot seem to be able to stop thinking that ‘kids these days’ are far worse than they use to be, this pattern seems to be never ending. I also talked about the Strauss and Howe theory about how the views and attributes of people in America of the same age tend to be somewhat similar and once again cycle through and repeat itself. This blog is going to be a change of pace in a darker sense as it’s going to be about pandemics and how they just keep happening.

The black plague killed roughly 75 million people world-wide, starting from 1347 to 1453 however it has never totally been eradicated (as there was an outbreak in Madagascar only two years ago). It killed so many people that the world’s population didn’t not recover to pre-plague levels until the 17th century. It wasn’t by the end of the worst outbreak of the Black Death did people realise that hygiene was important in keeping away from the disease, even though they did know about bacteria. FUN FACT, Venice was one of the first cities to turn away vessels which were thought to be contaminated and leave them isolated for forty days, this where the term quarantine originated from.

The worst and most recent outbreak of Ebola started in late 2013 all the way until earlier this year. In that time over eleven thousand people died, even though it is a lot less than the others on this list, it garnered quite a lot of public attention due to how rapid it would spread between people and kill. However after the virus ravaged through three West African countries once it reached the most populous and economically rich the disease slowly faded away and eventually became almost redundant. This can be seen as because of the help of America’s assistance with the outbreak however it was most likely because of the higher education the Nigerian people had about the disease. Just by knowing the basics of hygiene they were able to not only contain but almost stop the disease completely.


HIV/AIDS is a current pandemic with 36.9 million people infected with the disease as of the end of 2014 and with 34 million people having died from the disease since its discovery. The sad truth with HIV/AIDS is that it can be prevented with safe practise and mostly occurs in the poorest countries of Africa. Without the knowledge of simply practising safe sex dooms them making the same mistakes people were making almost 700 years earlier.

In conclusion to my three blog posts, it seems as though no matter what we do, we will be doomed to repeat ourselves whether that be good, bad or in between. As Andre Gide said, “Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But since no one was listening, everything must be said again.”


WHO (2016) HIV/AIDS. Available at: (Accessed: 8 May 2016).

The black death and early public health measures (no date) Available at: (Accessed: 8 May 2016). (2014) ‘Medieval “Black Death” was airborne, scientists say – history in the headlines’,,


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This entry was posted on May 8, 2016 by in Uncategorized.

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