In a study conducted in Spain, it was stated that some links were established between the bubonic plague (bubonic plague) epidemic in Istanbul in the 6th century, and the coronavirus epidemic.
According to the news of El Pais newspaper, in the epidemic process named after Byzantine Emperor Justinian, there were times in Istanbul that showed similarities with today.
While researching the writings of the Byzantine historian named Prokopius, the researcher Sales Carbonell from the University of Barcelona stated that “absolute limitations and isolation” were applied in the city during the plague. Carbonell explains the process, “Full quarantine was mandatory for sick people. But those who remained also preferred to be mostly isolated for their own health.”
It is stated that the plague that emerged in Egypt in 541 reached Istanbul one year after its emergence and had devastating effects.
The historian Prokopius, the author of the book The History of Wars, describes the plague with the phrase “The alarm has risen from Egypt. It spread from there quickly and deadly” and continues his words as follows:
“It was not easy to see people in public areas in Bizantium (Istanbul). Almost everyone who was not sick was taken to their homes, either taking care of their patients or crying to the dead.”
Similarities Between Economy and Healthcare Professionals
Talking about the state of the economy in the city, the Byzantine historian explains, “The mobility in the street had stopped completely, the craftsmen had left their job.”
It also contains parallels among the healthcare professionals told by the historian. Prokopius says that “Many died because there was no one to take care of them. The caregivers were overwhelmed by the pain and fatigue they suffered. People were saddened by this situation more than the patients.”
According to the historian’s statements, the death rate at the peak of the disease increased to the range of 5 thousand – 10 thousand. In this case, it is stated that many people had to be buried collectively without a funeral.