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Reports & Essays: History - European History

"AND""OR"

Black Death
Journal Entry #1 March 1, 1998 My name is Dr. Nathan Arvent M.D.. I am working here at U.C.S.F. in the year of 1998. A sudden outbreak of the plague has caused millions of innocent people to die. My job, along with many others, is to try and find a way to fight this epidemic and terminate it. But before I go any further, let me tell you a little about myself. I am a man at the age of about 40. I have been involved in medicine for as long as I can remember. My father was a doctor and then went on to teach at Stanford University. I hope to soon follow in my father's foot-steps and teach with him at Stanford. My dearly beloved mother was a pediatrician until she caught the dreaded disease: The Black Death. The very beginning of this plague was during the 14th century. From that time we have kept it under control. Until it mutated.... There is now a new strain of the yersinia pestis virus. We haven't a clue how this virus recirculated itself in the modern world. But now its here and it is killing everyone. There have been reports of this virus all throughout the world. Asia, Africa, Europe, South America; the only place where there isn't many signs of it is in Australia. This plague has given me many patients in the past few months since the outbreak started. Most of the ones that I have examined are incurable and will inevitably die within a few days. The welfare of the world rests in the hands of all the doctors who are slaving every day to try to cure this disease. I hope to God that there is a cure. Journal Entry #2 March 8, 1998 I have treated many patients since the first sign of this disease. I have noticed that many of the patients have similar symptoms: incredibly high fever, illness, vomiting, muscular pain, mental disorganization, and delirium. The lymph nodes throughout the body become swollen; especially those in the groin and thigh area. Then these inflamed lymph nodes, called buboes, fill with pus. The disease then spreads throughout your body by way of your circulatory system and the lymphatic system. After these symptoms, the patient dies within a few days. Journal Entry #3 March 11, 1998 I started treating a new patient today. Her name is Sandra. It looks as though she is experiencing the early stages of the plague. But she is a very strong woman. I, for the first time, think that she might survive this catastrophe. I have given her some antibiotics to try and kill the virus in its early stages. Sandra is not afraid, which is an uncommon sign in these times of despair. Hopefully the antibiotics that I have given her will subdue the virus long enough to let her immune system fight off the disease on its own. If the medicine that I have given her works, then we might be able to stop this thing once and for all. Then again, if the drugs don't work, then all we can do is hope and wait for the inevitable to happen. Journal Entry #4 March 20, 1998 Sandra is doing incredibly well! She actually seems to be recovering from this disease! I have asked her what she has been doing to stay healthy from this virus and all she says is that she has been taking the medication that I gave to her and apparently it has been working. I can't wait to tell my colleagues about what has happened to Sandra! Things are starting to look up for us....except for the fact that the plague has now killed over half of Northern America in about one month. The only hypothesis that I can create from the evidence shown, is that the plague has now altered to a pneumonic plague. Which means that it can be contracted from the cough of someone who is infected. This is the most contagious form of the disease. There is no telling what will happen now. People are dying before they can even reach a doctor. What have the people done to deserve this? Journal Entry #5 April 3, 1998 Everyone is dead. Even Sandra couldn't survive the merciless wrath of the Black Plague. I thought she was recovering, but the virus didn't think so. Even though she lasted the longest out of all of the patients that I have treated, she still didn't survive the Black Death. Now I finally understand how it got its name. It doesn't care who you are. What race you are. What sex you are. What color hair you have. All it cares about is killing. My father is dead as well. He couldn't fight it either. Now I am feeling what this little thing, no bigger than a head of a pin, can do to you. My time is short now. Every breath I waste could be spent on trying to cure this disease. But what's the use. There is no cure. There won't be one. The
Black Death
has come and left nothing. I am slowly fading into blackness. With one last breath I say good bye to the place that I once called happiness....

 



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