Why did the bubonic plague spare Milan and Poland?


’Isolation plus quarantine certainly helped spare Poland from the worst of the epidemic. One more spurious explanation is that Poland had more cats than other parts of Europe, and thus less disease-carrying rats…

…So, what’s the lesson, if any? Isolation definitely helps against infectious diseases. But that’s about the only advantage of being isolated. Take this map of the spread of COVID–19 as of 11 am on 5 March. If you had to divide the world into ‘fun’ and ‘no fun’ halves, they would correspond quite well with the blue and grey zones on this map, respectively.

For example, one sure-fire way to limit your exposure to the outside world is to have a bloody civil war – see Yemen, Libya and Syria. Another is to be a destination as out of the way and unconnected as Paraguay, the Central African Republic or Mongolia.

If it’s the price of living in an interconnected world, then perhaps there are worse things than having to fight off a slightly deadlier iteration of the flu. Praise globalization and pass the hand sanitizer…’

Via Big Think