Why was the Black Death so devastating?
One reason why the Black Death was so devastating was due to its very sudden arrival. The Black Death arrived extremely quickly and did a lot of damage in such a short amount of time. In the end it killed over 40 per cent (2.5 million) of the population. This was due to the doctors lack of knowledge on the black death, because it was new and spreading fast doctors had little understanding of what caused the disease they also didn’t have enough time to figure out a treatment for their patients before they died.
Another reason why it was so terrible is that the doctors had never seen anything like this before. The patients first gained painful swellings called buboes, then came the vomiting and fever, next was bleeding under the skin, then lots of pain and spasms all to finish with a very agonising death. This all occurred over the course of 5 days. Therefore the doctors were unable to treat each of the patients because they did not know what was happening and didn’t know how to fix it.
The Black Death was so terrible because they could not stop it due to their beliefs and medical knowledge being undeveloped. They believed that diseases were caused by nature or sent by God and other spirits. To avoid the illness doctors suggested that you pray often that you ate a healthy diet and did regular exercise. They also try to treat each of the symptoms as opposed to the overall disease; they did this with their knowledge of the four humours and trying to keep them balanced.
A final reason was they were too undeveloped all of their previous treatments for other illnesses didn’t work. They used herbal remedies made up of herbs, minerals and some animal parts. They used Galen’s bloodletting and studying of the urine and purging. As well as prayer, charms and rhymes. While these methods may have proved effective in the past they were no longer up to the task meaning the doctors were unable to treat them with any successful results.