Though it may not have been a word at the forefront of our vocabulary before, “quarantine” has become an everyday term of modern life. The word came from plagues’ past, when Italian officials implemented some of the very first public health measures in the world to battle a devastating pandemic: Bubonic Plague.
Officials ordered taverns to shut down, citizens to stay home and incoming ships to quarantine before merchants entered the city. These responses—in an effort to improve public health—paved the way for modern understandings of contagious diseases and prevention.
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